Moscow’s Ambassador to London Stresses Russia’s Interest in Litvinenko’s Case Probe

LONDON, July 24, 2014 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is among the key stakeholders in finding out the truth about the death of Russia’s Alexander Litvinenko back in 2006, who was a former Federal Security Service officer, Russian Ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko said Thursday.

"Russia is among the most interested parties in establishing the truth in this dark business. Simply because serious allegations against the Russian Federation have been made publicly. We have always asked the British authorities to provide evidence, which, as they claim, they have, accusing Russian citizens [of the involvement in Litvinenko’s death]. But these requests were rejected," the ambassador said at a press conference in London.

"The British government has refused to provide this evidence upon request of the Coroner conducting the inquiry. Now, as we understand, the evidence will be examined in private hearings, closed to the public, presumably for reasons of national security. We will never accept any decision based on evidence which had not been considered in a competitive open trial," the Ambassador said.

On Tuesday, UK Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to a public inquiry on the Litvinenko case after a number of refusals to do so, arguing that the existing enquiry connected with the case of Litvinenko’s death is sufficient. The first hearing of the respective proceedings will be held on July 31. At the same time the investigation dropped alleged charges against the British side for failing to prevent Litvinenko’s death.

It is an issue that could not be investigated during the inquest into Litvinenko’s death earlier, as the inquest did not allow considering certain sensitive material on the case.

Litvinenko’s widow Marina Litvinenko won a High Court ruling that May should reconsider her decision not to allow a public inquiry. Coroner Sir Robert Owen, who was conducting the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, proposed a public inquiry as a more appropriate measure instead of an inquest, since it would allow the consideration of sensitive material in private.

With public inquiry approved by the UK government, this material, potentially relating to the alleged role of Russia in Litvinenko’s death, can be used in the investigation.

Litvinenko died on November 23, 2006 of poisoning by radioactive polonium-210 in London. His health began to deteriorate after he met up with former colleagues Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun for a cup of tea in London’s Millennium hotel.



Lugovoi rules out participating in public probe of Litvinenko’s death in London, calls it "cynicism"

MOSCOW. July 22, 2014 (Interfax) – The decision of the British authorities to resume investigating circumstances of Alexander Litvinenko’s death is cynical and politically motivated, Russian State Duma Deputy Andrei Lugovoi told Interfax on Tuesday.

"Cynicism, deception, and treachery. This is the only way I can comment on the actions of the British establishment and the decision to hold a public investigation of Litvinenko’s death," Lugovoi said. This piece of new is perplexing, he said.

Circumstances of Alexander Litvinenko’s death, who passed away in London in November 2006 of polonium poisoning, will be investigated publicly, British Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May said earlier.

"This year it will be eight years since Litvinenko’s death. And every time the British pull the Litvinenko case out, right when ‘political viability’ becomes an option. Now, due to the situation existing in southeastern Ukraine, the West enhanced pressure on Russia and personally on President Vladimir Putin," Lugovoi said.

Lugovoi said he did not consider the possibility to participate in the public investigation in London in any way.

Former agent of the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, Alexander Litvinenko, who fled to the UK in 2000, died in November 2006. The radioactive element Polonium 210 was found in his body later.

Duma Deputy Andrei Lugovoi is considered to be the main suspect in the case by the UK. Lugovoi insists he is innocent. In April 2012 Lugovoi took polygraph test conducted by the British experts, which showed he was innocent.


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