The Coroner's inquest into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko can investigate the circumstances surrounding his death, the Foreign Office said today after the Government declined a request to hold a public inquiry.
A Foreign Office spokesman said:
We believe that the Coroner’s inquest can continue to investigate the circumstance of Mr. Litvinenko’s death and we will continue to co-operate fully with it.
The Government has declined a request to a public inquiry into the death of poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. The decision was only made this morning.
Coroner Sir Robert Owen says "an inquiry is necessary into Mr Litvinenko's death if is to be properly investigated".
Sir Robert Owen says he does not believe a proper investigation can be conducted and that it is of critical importance. He says he has not received a full and reasoned response from government and that it is regretted that the decision was not made until this morning.
The Foreign Secretary's lawyer apologises the decision has taken so long and Mr Hague will write to the Coroner with a full explanation about why this decision was reached.