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article imageLitvinenko's widow seeks public inquiry into death

By Layne Weiss     May 19, 2013 in World
London - Marina Litvinenko, the widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, has called for an inquest into his death to be replaced with a public inquiry.
She said it was the only way to find out the truth about her husband's death, BBC News reports. Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006.
The coroner, Sir Robert Owen, ruled the inquest could not include evidence of possible involvement from Russia. Mrs. Litvinenko said he had decided to "abandon his search for the truth."
She was shocked by this decision and said she believed it was the result of a "political deal" between London's and Moscow's governments.
Mrs. Litvinenko's advocates said the decision to exclude evidence of Russian involvement is "a very sad day for Mrs. Litvinenko," The Independent reports. They called it a "tragedy for British justice."
A furious Mrs. Litvinenko said, "To protect those responsible for ordering the murder of a British citizen on the streets of London, and to allow the Russian government to shield behind a claim for secrecy made by William Hague with the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron," The Guardian reports.
Mrs. Litvinenko's advocates went onto say that "all those concerned with exposing the truth will be shocked and saddened that a political deal has been done between the two governments to prevent the truth from ever seeing the light of day," The Independent reports.
Mrs. Litvinenko has argued that over the past year it was becoming increasingly obvious that the British government had been working to strike a "secret political deal with the Kremlin," The Guardian reports.
She cited warm and inviting meetings between Hague and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as well as talks on Syria between David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian beach resort of Sochi.
According to BBC News, the British government has argued that certain evidence should remain secret as revealing it could damage national security.
Sir Robert Owen said it would be tough to grant Mrs. Litvinenko's request for a public inquiry because without all the evidence, the verdict would be "misleading and unfair." He said one option could be for some of the key evidence to be heard in secret.
A further hearing will be held on July 11 where the coroner will announce the next move, Al-Jazeera reports.
Police have sought the arrests of two British nationals in relation to Litvinenko's death, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun. Russian authorities have refused to hand them over and have denied the men had any involvement in the death.
Both the British and Russian government have been extremely slow in releasing documents.
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