Russian Claims He Was Asked to Kill Litvinenko

Warned victim of plot before tea poisoning
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2007 12:03 PM CST
Mikhail Trepashkin, a former KGB agent, speaks on Ekho Moskvy radio in Moscow, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. Trepashkin who says he warned Kremlin foe Alexander Litvinenko before his fatal poisoning that he...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Onetime KGB agent Mikhail Trepashkin has said that a former colleague attempted to recruit him for a state-sponsored plot to kill Kremlin foe Alexander Litvinenko, who died of poisoning in London last year. Trepashkin will detail his allegations before the European human rights court, supporting the case that the Russian government killed Litvinenko, the Times of London reports.

Trepashkin, who was released Friday from a 4-year prison sentence on what international observers call political charges, says he warned Litvinenko before his poisoning that Litvinenko was being hunted by government assassins. Trepashkin's testimony will likely further strain relations between Russia and the West. Litvinenko died last year after drinking tea laced with polonium at a London hotel.