This was taken from Fox News, the rights go to the original creators.
Russian President Vladimir Putin 'probably ordered' the killing of a former Russian spy ten years ago, a report by a British judge concluded Thursday.
Judge Robert Owen said Thursday that he is certain Alexander Litvinenko was given tea laced with a fatal dose of polonium-210 at a London hotel in November 2006.
Owen also said there was a "strong probability" that Russia's FSB security service, the successor agency to the notorious KGB, directed the killing. In his 326-page report, Owen said that based on the evidence he had seen, the operation to kill Litvinenko was "probably" approved by then-FSB head Nikolai Patrushev and by Putin.
Litvinenko fled to Britain in 2000 after breaking with Putin and his inner circle. In the years before his death, the former spy became a vocal critic of the Russian leader, whom he accused of links to organized crime.
Before he died, Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his killing, but Owen's report appears to be the first time anyone has officially linked Putin to it.
Owen said Litvinenko "was regarded as having betrayed the FSB" with his actions, and that "there were powerful motives for organizations and individuals within the Russian state to take action against Mr. Litvinenko, including killing him."
Litvinenko's widow Marina said outside the High Court she was "very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr. Putin have been proved by an English court."
She called for British Prime Minister David Cameron to take urgent steps against Russian agents operating inside Britain in light of the report.
"I'm calling immediately for expulsion from the UK of all Russian intelligence operatives ... based at the London embassy," she said. "I'm also calling for the imposition of targeted economic sanctions and travel bans against named individuals including Mr. (former FSB chief Nikolai) Patrushev and Mr. Putin."
British police have accused Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi of carrying out the killing, sponsored by elements in the Kremlin. Both deny involvement, and Moscow refuses to extradite them.
Lugovoi is a member of the Russian parliament, which means he is immune from prosecution. In an interview with the Interfax news agency, he called the charges against him "absurd."
"As we expected, there was no sensation," he said. "The results of the investigation that were announced today once again confirm London's anti-Russian position and the blinkered view and unwillingness of the British to establish the true cause of Litvinenko's death."
The Russian government has always strongly denied involvement in Litvinenko's death. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zhakarova said Thursday that the government does not consider Owen's conclusions to be objective or impartial.
"We regret that a purely criminal case has been politicized and has darkened the general atmosphere of bilateral relations," Zhakarova said in a statement. She said Britain's decision to hold a public inquiry on the case was politically motivated and that the process was not transparent for the Russian side or the public.
The British government appointed Owen to head a public inquiry into the slaying, which soured relations between London and Moscow. He heard from dozens of witnesses during months of public hearings last year, and also saw secret British intelligence evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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