Litvinenko slaying suspect to testify at UK inquiry into ex-agent's poisoning death



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LONDON — The British judge overseeing an inquiry into former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko's death says one of the prime suspects in the poisoning will be allowed to give evidence by video link.

The inquiry said in a statement Monday that judge Robert Owen has granted Dmitry Kovtun "core participant" status. It says Kovtun has met conditions allowing him to testify to the inquiry.

It said Kovtun intended to assert his privilege against self-incrimination when he testifies, probably in late July.

Litvinenko, a former KGB officer, died in London in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium. On his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his assassination.

British police have accused Kovtun and another Russian man, Andrei Lugovoi, of carrying out the killing. Both deny involvement.

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