Murder suspect Andrei Lugovoy to shun UK inquest for spy Alexander Litvinenko
Tuesday 12 March 2013
A former KGB agent suspected of murdering Alexander Litvinenko has told a press conference that he will no longer assist the UK-based inquest into the spy's death.
Andrei Lugovoy, who is now a Russian politician, told a conference in Moscow hosted by Russian news agency Interfax that he could not receive “justice” in Britain.
Mr Litvinenko, 43, died in November 2006 after he was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London meeting - allegedly with Lugovoy, who denies all involvement.
While attempts to extradite Lugovoy to the UK have been rejected by the Russians, it was thought he might have provided video-link evidence to the inquest in London.
According to Interfax, Lugovoy told the press conference: "I have no hope to get justice in the UK. I finally lost faith in the possibility of an impartial investigation of the case in England.
"I have to say that I'm out of the coroner's investigation and I will not participate in it."
It has been claimed that Lugovoy and another former KGB agent, Dmitry Kovtun, poisoned Mr Litvinenko at the Millennium Hotel in London's Grosvenor Square.
A previous hearing was told that Mr Litvinenko had been hired by MI6 for a number of years and was working with the Spanish secret service investigating the Russian mafia shortly before his death.
He was said to regularly meet with an MI6 handler, named only as Martin, in central London and was paid by both the British and Spanish secret services into a joint bank account he held with his wife.
Last month, coroner Sir Robert Owen ruled that sensitive evidence alleged to expose Mr Litvinenko's ties to MI6 will be examined in secret.
His family have urged the Government to reveal the documents but Foreign Secretary William Hague has argued that the disclosure could pose a risk to national security.
The nature of the evidence contained within the files remains unclear but lawyers for the Litvinenko family claim the documents could point towards Russian state involvement.
The inquest is due to formally open on May 1, more than six years after Mr Litvinenko was killed.
Sir Robert will hold a hearing on Thursday, in which he will hear applications for anonymity of witnesses and will consider submissions on the inquest timetable.
A spokesman for the inquest said: "It is too early to say whether Mr Lugovoy will be called to give evidence and, if he is, how it would be given."
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...