Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko may have been contaminated with radiation two weeks earlier than previously thought, Russian newspaper Kommersant on Saturday quoted one of his contacts as saying.
Russian businessman Andrei Lugovoi told the newspaper he feared he may have been contaminated by Litvinenko two weeks before their meeting in a London hotel on November 1.
Litvinenko fell ill that day and died in a London hospital three weeks later of suspected radiation poisoning.
In an attempt to explain why a British Airways aircraft he boarded on October 25 reportedly revealed traces of radiation, Lugovoi told the newspaper he may have been contaminated by Litvinenko when the pair met a week earlier on October 17.
"Alexander Litvinenko, my business partner Dmitry Kovtun and I were in London on October 17 at a meeting in the office of (private security company) Erinys.
Traces of radiation could have been left there after this visit," Lugovoi told the newspaper.
This chain of events would explain the traces of radiation that British police believe were left on an October 25 British Airways flight from Moscow to London, which Lugovoi admits to having taken, the newspaper said.