London : A British judge said Russia has a case to answer in the death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, reports PTI.

 Litvinenko, 43, was killed by radioactive poisoning at a London hotel in 2006 and had accused Putin from his deathbed of being linked to his killing.

Judge Robert Owen who opened a public hearing into the death of Litvinenko said he would be able to hear secret evidence behind closed doors in connection with the inquiry, expected to last until the end of next year.

“The HM (Her Majesty’s) government material taken alone, and in so far as it was relevant, established a prima facie case as to the culpability of the Russian state in Litvinenko’s death,” Owen said as he opened the inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice here.

“The most important feature of the inquiry… is that it will permit me to consider closed evidence and hold closed hearings,” he

 added.

He said there would be a procedural hearing on September 5, but the hearing of evidence would not begin until January.

The widow of poisoned spy said the truth will finally be revealed about what happened to her husband. Marina Litvinenko said was a “special” day as “everybody all around the world will know the truth”.

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