MOSCOW, March 18 - RAPSI. Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer who died after being allegedly poisoned in London, was paid at least £90,000 ($136,000) for his work with MI6, The Sunday Times reports, citing testimony provided to Scotland Yard by Marina Litvinenko.
According to testimony, "payments from British intelligence began in late 2003 or early 2004 when £18,000 ($27,000) was deposited in the couple's bank account. MI6 also gave Litvinenko a fake passport." From 2004 and until March 2007, MI6 paid Litvinenko a monthly retainer of £2,000 ($3,000).
Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, defected to the UK in 2000. He died in 2006 shortly after meeting with former colleague Andrei Lugovoi in London's Millennium Hotel. It was announced soon afterwards that Litvinenko was poisoned with higly radioactive polonium-210, traces of which was found in his body.
The inquest began soon after his death. The main hearing is scheduled to begin on October 2, 2013.
The disclosure about payments provides "new insight into the extent of Litvinenko's links with MI6 and the suggestion that he was killed by a Russian spy," The Sunday Times writes.
The interested parties are Litvinenko's widow Marina, a close friend and sponsor Boris Berezovsky, the London police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the UK government and Russia's Investigative Committee, which received the status of an interested party several weeks ago.
Early last week, Andrei Lugovoi, whom the UK suspects of being involved with Litvinenko's demsie, said that he would not take part in the inquest because he could not hope to receive justice in Britain adding that the trial would be a farce.
Lugovoi made this statement after the coroner accepted the Foreign Office's suggestion that some of the case records should be classified for security reasons.