Family challenge delay in Litvinenko inquest

Mr Litvinenko died in London in November 2006. It is alleged that he was poisoned with a lethal dose of a highly radioactive material known as Polonium 210. A police investigation was conducted into Mr Litvinenko's death, and in 2007 the then Director of Public Prosecutions, announced that there was sufficient evidence to charge to charge Andrei Lugovoy, a former member of the FSB, with Mr Litvinenko's murder. However the Russian state has refused to extradite Mr Lugovoy to the UK for trial. Dmitry Kovtun is also implicated in Mr Litvinenko's death. It is alleged that he and Mr Lugovoy slipped the Polonium into Mr Litvinenko's tea during a meeting at the Pine Bar of London's Millennium Hotel.

 

A High Court judge, Sir Robert Owen, has been appointed to conduct the inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death, which was originally due to start on 1 May 2013.

 

In late 2012, a pre-inquest review heard that Mr Litvinenko was working alongside Spanish spies for MI6 in the days before his death. The British government has refused to confirm or deny whether he was working for MI6.

 

At a hearing on 14 March 2013, Henrietta Hill and Adam Straw, representing Mr Litvinenko's family, highlighted the family's grave disappointment that although the Coroner had asked various British government departments to disclose the material in their possession in January 2012, some had not even begun looking for the material until October 2012. Moreover some of the departments had not used the proper "codes" when searching for material such that some may have been missed. She also expressed concern that material from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation would not be ready in time for the hearing. For more details please click here.

 

For media coverage of the case see The Guardian; The Independent; BBC; Financial Times

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