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  1. ITV Report

British detective: 'I was poisoned investigating Litvinenko murder'

A British former detective who investigated the murder of Alexander Litvinenko has told ITV News he believes he was also poisoned in an apparent attack ordered by the Kremlin.

  • Video report by Security Editor Rohit Kachroo

Brian Tarpey, a former detective inspector, believes Russian government officials spiked his tea to unsettle him and colleagues looking into the case.

Litvinenko, a former Russian spy and fierce critic of Putin's regime, was infamously killed in London in 2006 after his cup of tea was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210.

The final picture of Alexander Litvinenko as he lay dying from polonium poisoning

Tarpey, who led the murder investigation, has told ITV News of how he believes he was poisoned on a trip to Moscow to question the main suspect in the killing.

Tarpey and a colleague paid a visit to the prosecutor general’s office.

We were dealing with something we'd never dealt with before.

We were offered tea and having left that office we both felt very unwell. My suspicion is probably that the tea was laced with something.

You could say that we were being physically drained.

– Brian Tarpey

The Russians had allowed him to interview suspect Andrey Lugovoy - on the condition that they made the recordings.

These tapes were later withheld from Scotland Yard.

Tarpey is featuring in the upcoming Channel 4 documentary Hunting the KGB Killers.

A judge-led inquiry found President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the assassination of Litvinenko.