Timeline: The days leading up to Alexander Litvinenko's death

Alexander Litvinenko consumed tea laced with polonium-210. Credit: Reuters

By Juliet Bremner: ITV News Correspondent

Marina Litvinenko is telling the inquiry about the days leading up to the poisoning of her husband, Alexander Litvinenko.

  • October 16, 2006

He comes back from meeting with Andrei Lugovoy and "another Russian businessman" (we know from earlier evidence that this was Dmitry Kovtun).

At home he eats chicken soup which he adds extra spice to and afterwards becomes ill. He vomits once and says he feels very unwell. He is unwell for the next two days but then recovers.

The inquiry heard earlier that he had been to a business meeting with Lugovoy and Kovtun at the security firm Enirys on Grosvenor Street in Mayfair where it is suspected they tried to poison him with polonium.

  • October 19, 2006

Goes to a press conference at the Frontline club - a debate on the death of his journalist friend, Anna Politkovskaya.

The inquiry is shown a video of the press conference in which Alexander Litvinenko accuses President Vladimir Putin of killing her. He says that no one else has the power to do this.

  • October 26, 2006

Marina takes her parents to the theatre in London without Sacha (Alexander).

  • October 27, 2006

She takes her parents to the airport.

  • October 31, 2006

Halloween they bought sweets for their son Anatoly. Sacha had supper with Akhmed Zakayev's house and seemed "absolutely fine, absolutely normal."

  • November 1, 2006

Marina had already left. She thinks that her husband left about 11am for meeting with Mario Scaramella and then Andrei Lugovoy.

He came backed about 6pm and he ate one of his favorite meals she had prepared specially because it was the anniversary of the day the family had first come to the UK.

He went to bed about midnight and "looked OK".

But then suddenly started to vomit. He tried to lie down but couldn't stop vomiting.

They believed it was food poisoning and took something to calm his stomach and drank lots of water.

"Suddenly he started ... [to] feel unwell ... he started to feel sick. It was very sudden. He couldn't say anything he just vomited."

By 6am the next day he was still vomiting and said he needed to open all the windows because he wanted more oxygen.

  • November 2, 2006

Alexander was deteriorating. "We just tried to calm him down because he was very, very exhausted, he couldn't drink, he couldn't eat, it was very,very strange, we just didn't know what to do."

  • November 3, 2006

He continued getting worse with vomiting and diarrhoea and bleeding. The doctor advised he should got to hospital and he was taken to Barnet Hospital.

They gave him antibiotics - this stopped the vomiting and he swatted to look a bit less exhausted.

  • November 13, 2006

A steep decline. Marina felt that hospital staff were not taking his illness serious duly and confronted him. She realised that his hair was starting to fall out and thought his immune system was starting to fail and he was moved to cancer ward.

Marina asked if he wanted his hair shaved because it was irritating him. She collected some of his hair in a plastic bag.

  • November 17, 2006

He was visited by Boris Berezovsky for first time. The Inquiry heard that he'd been abroad up until this point. He continued to visit over the coming days.

Marina said that there was no animosity between the two men. "I saw only how he was concerned and he was thinking what we might do for Sacha."This day he was moved to University College Hospital.

  • November 19, 2006

An article appears in the Sunday Times suggesting that Litvinenko might have been poisoned with thallium. In the article he mentions meeting with Italian contact Mario Scaramella but does not mention meeting with Lugovoy.

Asked why he did not mention this second meeting, Marina says, "I think at this stage Sacha believed he was going to survive and wanted to investigate it himself." She told inquiry she thought he deliberately kept his link with Lugovoy secret.

  • November 21, 2006 - the photograph

He reluctantly agreed to have the now famous photograph taken. "It was very important to show what happened from very healthy and good looking man to what happened in a very short period of time and what Sacha was looking like on this photo."

  • November 21, 2006 - the statement

The statement was made with the help of friend Alexander Goldfarb and a lawyer. It was read out to him and he agreed with it.

This statement was read out after he died. In it he publicly accuses Putin of killing him.

  • Converted to Islam

Marina explained how he had converted from Russian Orthodox to Islam in a small ceremony with young imam.

It was because he wanted to be buried in Chechen soil and the ceremony was witnessed by his friend and exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev, his wife Marina and his son Anatoly.

  • November 22, 2006

Alexander was getting weaker and slipping in and out of consciousness. He looked at her very sadly and he said very quietly, "I love you very much." They were the last words he ever said to her.

  • November 23, 2006

In the early hours of morning the hospital called to say he was attached to life support machines. They warned that his heart had failed and he could die any time.

Later that day they were called back - but he was already dead. She was allowed to kiss him without any protection.

Police told her that he had been killed by radioactive poisoning with polonium 210 and advise they should leave the house withing 30 minutes. They went to the Zakayev's house for next five days and were tested to see if they were contaminated, but given all clear.