Litvinenko inquest coroner calls for public inquiry into death of former Russian spy
Wednesday 05 June 2013
A coroner has written to the Government to request a public inquiry in place of an inquest into the death of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Sir Robert Owen, presiding over the inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death, has written to the Justice Secretary after previously ruling he could not hear evidence linked to the alleged involvement of the Russian government in public.
The ruling was published after the coroner accepted an application by the Foreign Office to keep certain information under wraps.
Mr Litvinenko, 43, was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea at the Millennium Hotel in London's Grosvenor Square in 2006.
A statement from the office said Sir Robert has now written to Chris Grayling to request "a decision be made to order a public inquiry".
A Government spokesman said: "We will carefully consider this request."
Mr Litvinenko's widow Marina called for the coroner to order a public inquiry as a matter of urgency after his ruling last month.
The family believe Mr Litvinenko was working for MI6 at the time of his death and was killed on the orders of the Kremlin.
In his earlier ruling, Sir Robert said that excluding key evidence on the issue of Russian involvement would cause him "grave concern".
He added: "Were an inquiry to be held into the circumstances of Mr Litvinenko's death, the relevant material could be taken into account."
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...