Funds plea from poison spy widow

The widow of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko has launched an appeal for donations to help her expose her husband's murderers at the inquest into his death.

Marina Litvinenko said her legal costs for the inquest, which is set to consider claims that the Russian state was behind the former KGB spy's assassination, were likely to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.



Mr Litvinenko, 43, fell ill shortly after drinking tea during a meeting at a West End hotel with former KGB contacts and died of radioactive polonium-210 poisoning in London's University College Hospital on November 23 2006.



St Pancras coroner Dr Andrew Reid indicated on Thursday that the dissident's inquest should be wide-ranging and announced he was asking the Metropolitan Police and intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 to carry out further inquiries.



Mrs Litvinenko appealed to the public in Britain, Russia and around the world for assistance in funding her legal battle to discover what really happened to her husband.



She said in a statement: "I am prepared to do whatever it takes to find the truth about the unprecedented act of nuclear terrorism that killed Sasha (Alexander) Litvinenko and endangered the lives of thousands of my fellow Londoners.



"To judge from inquests of similar complexity, such as those into the deaths of Princess Diana and the victims of the 7/7 bombings, these hearings may last weeks, if not months.



"At the very least, my legal costs are likely to run into six figures.



"In these proceedings the evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police will be weighed against the story presented by Sasha's accused murderer and his sponsors, with the unlimited resources of the Russian state at their disposal.



"I am sure that my legal team is the best in the world, but the reality is that compared to my adversaries I am severely constrained. This I why I am appealing to the public for help."



The UK's relations with Russia soured after the murder of Mr Litvinenko, who had accused Russian security services of carrying out terror attacks to help bring Vladimir Putin to power.



British prosecutors have named fellow ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoy as the main suspect in the dissident's killing, but the Russian authorities have repeatedly refused to send him to face trial in the UK.



Russian president Dmitry Medvedev insisted during Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to Moscow last month that Mr Lugovoy - now a Russian MP - would never be extradited to Britain.



Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald QC said earlier this month that he had the "gravest suspicion" that Moscow was involved in planning the murder.



:: Donations to Mrs Litvinenko's legal fund can be made through the Litvinenko Justice Foundation website, http://www.litvinenko.org.uk





Source: PA

Sport
Premier League Live
footballLIVE Follow all the Premier League action as it happens
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
peopleTV star had been reported missing
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone