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Iran Press TV

UK govt. wins secrecy ruling on Litvinenko poisoning

Iran Press TV

Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:32PM GMT

The British government has won a court order preventing the disclosure of confidential documents relating to the poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

On Wednesday, the High Court in London ruled that the evidence held by the UK government on the ex-spy's death should remain secret on national security grounds.

Earlier in May, Coroner Robert Owen decided to reveal the material by partially lifting a public interest immunity (PII) certificate.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, however, challenged the coroner's ruling in judicial review proceedings.

Hague succeeded in overturning the decision as three senior judges at Wednesday's hearing declared the material must remain secret.

Litvinenko, who was once an officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and later a fierce critic of the Kremlin, died on November 23, 2006. He was poisoned on November 1, 2006 with polonium-210, a highly toxic radioactive isotope, at the Millennium Hotel in central London.

His widow Marina claimed that her husband, a former KGB agent, was working for Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 at the time of his death, and that he was killed on the orders of the Russian government.

The lawyer representing Litvinenko's family also accused the British government of 'dancing to the Russian tarantella' in an attempt to avoid damage to trade deals with Moscow.


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