Foreign Correspondent screens a two part Channel 4 report, “Hunting the KGB Killers” on the 2006 murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
In 2016 British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned Vladimir Putin for presiding over “state sponsored murder” after an inquest into Litvinenko’s death by radiation poisoning.
Part 1 airs this week.
For the first time, British investigators tell the inside story of the bizarre murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko – and the Kremlin’s attempts to thwart them at every turn. In a tale that’s stranger than fiction, a teapot is the murder weapon.
Meddling in western elections, seizing territory in Ukraine, bullying critics at home and abroad – how far will Russia go to impose its will?
A clue lies in the murder of a former KGB spy-turned-whistleblower in a hotel in London’s swanky Mayfair just over a decade ago. While meeting with two Russians, Alexander ”Sasha” Litvinenko took some green tea with honey and lemon.
For some reason I didn’t like it. It’s almost cold tea. I drink maybe three or four times – statement by Alexander Litvinenko to police
It took weeks for Litvinenko to die…
He was in diabolical pain – Clive Timmons, Met Police
…and for British police investigators to establish that apart from honey and lemon, the teapot contained a million times the lethal dose of polonium-210, one of the most deadly, radioactive toxins known to science.
The investigators have maintained their silence – until now.
In this gripping documentary from Channel 4, they speak for the first time about their investigation – the initial disbelief, the race to extract Litvinenko’s story before he died, the tracking of the Russian suspects along a winding radioactive polonium trail through London, and the cat and mouse games they encountered when they came up against the might of the Kremlin.
Also speaking out are Marina and Anatoly, the wife and son Litvinenko left behind.
Once upon a time, back in Moscow, the then KGB operative Litvinenko had raised concerns about abuse of power with his boss, then KGB director Vladimir Putin. Next he went public, and got jailed for his trouble. Upon his release he fled to London, sought asylum and began helping British spy agency MI6.
Last year an official British inquiry concluded that there was a “strong probability” that the FSB (formerly the KGB) had killed Litvinenko, and that President Vladimir Putin had “probably approved” the operation.
9.30pm Tuesday May 23 and part two at 9.30pm on Tuesday May 30 on ABC.