Alexander Litvinenko: Widow says ‘a kind of justice’ will be achieved at inquiry

Though Marina Litvinenko accepts that the two Russians with whom he drank tea laced with polonium-210 at a hotel are unlikely to ever stand trial

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The wife of Alexander Litvinenko yesterday said she would achieve a “kind of justice” during the public inquiry into the fatal poisoning of her husband, which begins in London next week.

Marina Litvinenko, 52, accepts that the two Russians with whom he drank tea laced with polonium-210 at a hotel in Mayfair before his death are unlikely to ever stand trial for the November 2006 killing, despite prosecutors wanting to press charges following a Scotland Yard inquiry.

But she says that she has confidence in the public inquiry to get to the bottom of her husband’s murder, despite details about British intelligence being heard in secret.

It emerged at a hearing in 2012 that Litvinenko, 43, had worked for MI6, which had tasked him to work with the Spanish to inform them of alleged links between the Russian mafia and government.

“I won’t be in a position to find out some secrets but it will be possible to get a kind of justice although nobody will be put in prison, or serve a sentence,” Mrs Litvinenko told The Independent.

“It will be seen how Sasha [Litvinenko] died and who killed him. People still discuss that maybe he was not killed. I really want to stop that.”

She contends that her husband was killed because of an accumulation of freelance investigations and critical anti-Kremlin comments which ended with the claim that Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for the killing of the journalist and rights campaigner, Anna Politkovskaya.

The inquiry, before chairman Sir Robert Owen, has a list of 21 issues to address. Not only will it look into the role of the two main suspects – former FSB men Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovtun – but other claims about the role of organised crime, the Spanish mafia and Chechen groups.

The inquiry represents a personal victory for Mrs Litvinenko after the Government initially refused a public inquiry. “I wouldn’t describe it as fighting: fighting exhausts you,” she said. “Hate empties you. It’s never been a feeling of revenge, so that every day you hate someone and want to kill them – it’s not possible that I could do this for eight years.”