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UK Judge to Release Findings on Death of Ex-KGB Agent


FILE - Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB spy and author of the book "Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within" photographed at his home in London, May 10, 2002.

FILE - Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB spy and author of the book "Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within" photographed at his home in London, May 10, 2002.

The mystery of the poisoning death of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko may be solved Thursday, when a British judge releases the findings of his inquiry.

Litvinenko died nearly 10 years ago after he was allegedly poisoned by a cup of tea laced with polonium-210 - a rare radioactive isotope. From his death bed, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his assassination.

The former Russian intelligence officer had become an outspoken critic of Putin before fleeing Russia and eventually settling in London.

Moscow has always denied any involvement in his death and has dismissed the inquiry as politically motivated.

British judge Robert Owen will release the long-awaited findings, and he is likely to point a finger of blame at the Russian state.

British police have accused Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, the two Russian former KGB agents Litvinenko met for tea, of carrying out the killing. They confirmed meeting with Litvinenko in London on several occasions, including at the time of the suspected poisoning, but deny any involvement in his death. Russia has refused to extradite them.

If the report links the crime to Putin, it could worsen Britain's relations with Russia, which are already strained..

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