Crime & the Law

Litvinenko’s final words to his wife: ‘I love you so much’

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Marina Litvinenko has today described her final conversation with her husband Alexander, as he lay dying from polonium poisoning.

On the third day of the inquiry into her husband’s murder, she told The High Court how his condition deteriorated dramatically in the final few days before his death, saying he was suffering ‘pain all over his body’, his hair had fallen out and he was ‘speechless for most of the time.’

She also recounted how she had needed to go home to look after Anatoly, their son who was 12 years old at the time. She told her husband ” ‘Don’t worry, tomorrow morning I’ll come to the hospital.’”

Mr Litvienko then told her ‘I love you so much,’ Mrs Litvinenko then joked “Oh finally. I haven’t listened to this for a long time,” before telling him: “Everything will be fine. See you tomorrow.”

These were the last words she heard him speak, she told the court.

After returning home, she was summoned back to University College Hospital after hearing how Alexander Litvinenko’s health had worsened considerably. After hurrying back she was told by the doctor that ‘Sasha’ had passed away.

Marina Litvinenko and her son were allowed to see his body. She said  ‘When we went to his room it was different. We didn’t need protective gloves. I could touch him. I could kiss him. Nobody said it was dangerous.’

Her son could only bear to see his father  ‘for half a minute maximum’ before leaving the room.
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Police told her: ‘We know what happened to your husband and what was used. It was radioactive polonium-210.’

She was told to evacuate the family home and given only 30 minutes to do so.

The Inquiry also heard from Marina Litvinenko about her husband’s strained relationship with Vladimir Putin, who he blamed personally for the death of the journalist Anna Politikovskaya in 2006.

She also told of his  relationship with Boris Berezovsky, who was a visitor to his bedside, and his conversion to Islam in his final days.

The inquiry continues.

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