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  1. Juliet Bremner: ITV News Correspondent
  2. National

Widow describes Litvinenko's disillusionment with Russia

The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has started to give evidence at the inquiry into his death. Marina started to give her evidence in English but she has an interpreter in case of difficulties.

Marina Litvinenko arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice, London. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

She is explaining how she first met her future husband who's she calls "Sacha". They were introduced by a friend in 1993 and married the following year. Their son Anatoly was born before the marriage.

She confirms that relations with his first wife and two children were strained.

Started to work with KGB and in 1994 he moved to the anti-terrorism department which is when they started their relationship.

Litvinenko became involved in the Chechen war and gradually started to change his view about Russia's involvement. He was particularly affected by one 17-year-old boy who he met while working for the Russian security services in the Caucus region.

The teenager told him that everyone in his class had come to fight and Marina said that he then started to think this was an entire people fighting for their lands.

Mrs Litvinenko told the court that he found it "very shocking" and "like the Second World War" and felt that too many people were being killed indiscriminately in Chechnya, including women and a children.

  1. National

Litvinenko's widow to give evidence in public inquiry

The widow of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko is set to give evidence in the public inquiry into his death today.

Marina Litvinenko fought for the inquiry after chairman Sir Robert Owen said he could not hold a "fair and fearless" investigation as part of an inquest, and a public inquiry should take place instead.

The family believes Mr Litvinenko was working for MI6 at the time of his death from radioactive poisoning and claims he was killed on the orders of the Kremlin.

Marina Litvinenko outside the Royal Courts of Justice last week. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Last week Mrs Litvinenko told ITV News she believed she would finally get justice for her husband,

Mr Litvinenko, 43, died at the University College Hospital nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 while meeting two Russian men - one a former KGB officer - at the Millennium Hotel in London's Grosvenor Square.

The inquiry has already been told that the post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko was "one of the most dangerous ever undertaken in the western world".


Russians pull out of Litvinenko inquiry

Alexander Litvinenko died in November 2006 after being poisoned with polonium. Credit: Reuters

The ICRF, a Russian law-enforcement agency, has decided not to take part in the public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. The former spy died in a London hospital in 2006 after being poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210. Two men, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, are wanted by police in connection with the killing but they remain in Russia. They deny they were involved.

The ICRF sent a letter saying they would not be a "core participant" in the inquiry as it did not agree that evidence held in closed sessions during the inquiry could be used to inform its findings. Hearings for the inquiry are due to start in January.

Spy inquest refuses Met Police anonymity plea

Alexander Litvinenko died from radioactive poisoning in London in 2006 Credit: Reuters

The coroner in the inquest into the death of poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has refused applications for three police witnesses to remain anonymous.

Sir Robert Owen declined the request by the Metropolitan Police for witnesses known only as D1, D2 and C1 to be known only by ciphers during any inquest.

Even though the application has been turned down, their identities will only be publicly revealed if their evidence is discussed in court, or if they are called to give evidence in person. The reasons for the refusal have not been published.

Sir Robert allowed an application from the Atomic Weapons Establishment for a fourth witness, known as A3, to remain anonymous.

Scotland Yard had applied for the officers to be referred to only by ciphers and a reporting ban on any identifying personal information.

This was on the grounds that they would fear for their own safety, their privacy would be breached and being called to give evidence without anonymity would discourage others from assisting in future investigations.

The force had also applied for the witnesses to give evidence from behind screens that would shield them from the view of media and members of the public, and this will be considered at a later date.

The ruling was published days after the Government rejected calls to hold a public inquiry into Mr Litvinenko's death rather than an inquest.

Alexander Litvinenko died of radioactive poisoning in 2006.

  1. National

Foreign Office to 'cooperate' with Litvinenko inquest

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.


  1. Sejal Karia - ITV News Reporter
  2. National

Litvinenko lawyer to seek judicial review

Ben Emmerson QC - Marina Litvinko's lawyer has severely criticised the government's decision. He will seek judicial review.

He calls it "a repeated catalogue of broken promises[...] disastrous catalogue of indecision at the heart of government. [The government] has been paralysed by indecision".

Mr Emmerson says his widow and her son have been treated with "utter contempt" and in "the ultimate shabby way". He called it a "catalogue of disrespect".

  1. Sejal Karia - ITV News Reporter

Coroner: Investigation into Litvinenko death 'critical'

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.

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