Russian President Vladimir Putin has said hand grenade fragments were found in the bodies of people who died when mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane crashed on August 23.
Experts investigating the cr$<ash found no indication the private jet had suffered an “external impact”, he added.
Mr Prigozhin and two of his top lieutenants in the Wagner private military contractor were among the 10 people killed when the jet came down as it flew from Moscow to St Petersburg.
There was no way to independently verify Mr Putin’s statement.
A preliminary US intelligence assessment concluded that an intentional explosion caused the crash, and western officials have pointed to a long list of Putin foes who have been assassinated.
The Kremlin described the allegation he was behind the crash as an “absolute lie”.
A Russian investigation was launched but no findings have been released. Moscow rejected an offer from Brazil, where the Embraer business jet was built, to join the inquiry.
Mr Putin said the investigation is continuing and stopped short of saying what caused the crash, but his statement appeared to hint the plane was brought down by a grenade explosion.
Mr Prigozhin’s aborted rebellion in June marked the most serious challenge to the president, who has been in power for more than two decades. The crash came two months to the day after the rebellion started. (LBC)