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Litvinenko widow wins British court battle

The widow of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko took a step forward Tuesday in her bid to secure a public inquiry into her husband's death. Home Secretary Theresa May wants to wait for the results of a separate inquest into the 2006 death of Litvinenko, a former agent in Russia's FSB agency, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London hotel. But three judges at England's High Court ruled that May must reconsider her decision after a challenge from his widow, Marina Litvinenko.

UK court quashes decision not to hold Litvinenko poisoning inquiry

By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - The High Court has quashed a decision by the British government not to hold a public inquiry into the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 after being poisoned with a radioactive substance. Tuesday's judgment means the government will have to reconsider the decision, a diplomatically sensitive one as a public inquiry could delve into the issue of whether Russia was involved in the killing. Moscow denies any involvement.

UK will not hold Litvinenko death public inquiry

Britain will not hold a public inquiry into the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, a coroner said on Friday, leaving the current, lower-level inquest proceedings close to collapse. Coroner Robert Owen had sought a full public inquiry to replace his inquest into the 2006 murder of the former spy in London, as he is not authorised to investigate the possible involvement of the Russian state. kjl/dk/ric

UK refuses Litvinenko death public inquiry

The British government has refused to hold a public inquiry into the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, a coroner said Friday, leaving the current proceedings on the verge of collapse. Coroner Robert Owen had sought a full public inquiry to replace his lower-level inquest into the 2006 murder of the former spy in London as he is not authorised to investigate the possible involvement of the Russian state.

Litvinenko UK inquest in doubt after Russia evidence ruling

The inquest into the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in Britain was close to being scrapped after the coroner ruled Friday he could not hear evidence about the alleged role of the Russian state in his poisoning. Coroner Robert Owen said in a pre-hearing ruling that in disregarding the evidence for national security reasons, he would be failing in his duty "to undertake a full, fair and fearless inquiry into the circumstances of Mr Litvinenko's death".

British coroner to examine Litvinenko files in secret

The British judge investigating the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko said Wednesday he would examine government evidence in secret to decide if it should be made public. Foreign Secretary William Hague has argued that the disclosure of certain files at the forthcoming inquest would be damaging to national security. But lawyers for Litvinenko's family, who claim he worked for British spy agency MI6, want the evidence to be made public as they believe it would point to Russia's involvement in his death by radioactive poisoning in London in 2006.

Britain seeks to withhold info from Litvinenko inquest

Britain is seeking to withhold information about Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko at the forthcoming inquest into his death to avoid damage to trade deals with Moscow, a court was told on Tuesday. A pre-inquest hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice heard that Foreign Secretary William Hague had signed a public interest immunity (PII) certificate to prevent evidence relating to the case being placed in the public domain. This was because disclosure risked "serious harm to the public interest", Hague wrote in the document which has been made public.

Britain seeks to hide information in Litvinenko inquest

The British government made a court bid on Tuesday to keep sensitive information about murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko secret at the forthcoming inquest into his death. The application for public interest immunity, thought to be on the grounds of national security, is opposed by media organisations including the BBC and the Guardian newspaper as well as by lawyers for Litvinenko's widow Marina.
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