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Litvinenko suspect speaks out

One of the main suspects in the poisoning of ex-Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in London has said he will be willing to give evidence at an inquiry into the death if he is given "core participant" status.

Dmitry Kovtun told reporters in Moscow he would like to use this status to ask the judge to consider the evidence he believes proves his innocence.

Litvinenko, a former KGB officer, died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium at a London hotel.

On his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ordering his assassination.

The inquiry in London is paused until July 27 when Kovtun could give evidence via videolink provided he meets certain conditions, including submitting a full witness statement.

British police have accused Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi of carrying out the killing.

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