New evidence that Alexander Litvinenko was killed in a Russian-backed ‘state execution’

The Telegraph reports: American spies secretly intercepted communications between those involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and provided the key evidence that he was killed in a Russian-backed “state execution”, The Telegraph can disclose.

The National Security Agency (NSA) obtained electronic communications between key individuals in London and Moscow from the time that the former spy was poisoned with radioactive material in central London. The evidence was passed to the British authorities.

A source familiar with the investigation confirmed the existence of American “intelligence material”. They said it would have been “inadmissible” in court, but that the British authorities were “confident that this was a state execution”.

The disclosure comes ahead of the start of the public inquiry into Litvinenko’s death in 2006, which will see hearings, many of which will be held in secret, carried out over a nine-week period in the High Court from Tuesday.

The existence of the American intelligence material offers the first proof that the Russian state was involved in the murder of the dissident and explains why senior British politicians have been so confident in publicly blaming the Kremlin for the murder.

It is revealed as part of a Telegraph investigation which also unearthed an audio recording appearing to capture Litvinenko giving a detailed account of his investigations into links between Vladimir Putin and one of the world’s most dangerous criminals. [Continue reading…]

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