Litvinenko inquiry bid suffers setback

Alexander Litvinenko at University College Hospital in central London on November 20, 2006

The widow of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has suffered a setback in a legal bid to secure a public inquiry into her husband™s death.

Marina Litvinenko was seeking permission to bring a legal challenge over British Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the ex-spy’s poisoning.

However, three judges at London™s High Court on Thursday refused to protect Litvinenko™s widow from potentially high legal costs if she loses the case.

Ben Emerson QC, appearing for the widow, said the cost of her judicial review application, which is likely to be about £40,000, amounted to almost œeverything she has in terms of assets she can access”.

Litvinenko, who was once an officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and later a fierce critic of the Kremlin, died on November 23, 2006. He was poisoned on November 1, 2006 with polonium-210, a highly toxic radioactive isotope, at the Millennium Hotel in central London.

His widow Marina has claimed that her husband, a former KGB agent, was working for Britain™s foreign intelligence agency MI6 at the time of his death, and that he was killed on the orders of the Russian government.

Earlier in July, the British government refused a request by Sir Robert Owen, the coroner, to hold a judge-led inquiry rather than an inquest into Litvinenko’s death, citing international relations as a factor in its decision.

SSM/HE

Copyright: Press TV