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Marina Litvinenko: 'Very pleased' over inquiry decision

The wife of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko has said she is "very pleased" over the decision to hold a public inquiry into his death.

Speaking to reporters, Marina Litvinenko said it still may take a "long time" to get the truth.

Mystery has surrounded the death of the KGB officer, after he died drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at a London hotel in 2006.

Earlier today, Home Secretary Theresa May announced the inquiry into his death in a written ministerial statement, saying: "I very much hope that this inquiry will be of some comfort to his widow."

More: Government announce Litvinenko public inquiry

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Litvinenko: Putin 'won't extradite' main suspect

Marina Litvinenko does not believe that Russian president Vladimir Putin will extradite the man named by prosecutors as the main suspect in the death of her husband.

Marina Litvinenko.
Marina Litvinenko. Credit: PA

Andrei Lugovoy, now a politician in Russia, was named by prosecutors as the main suspect in the case, but Marina Litvinenko said she thought it was unlikely that he would change his mind and extradite him.

Speaking to reporters she said: "I believe Putin will not change his decision to extradite or change his decision."

She added: "What I do is not against Russia because I am Russian and I love my country."

Marina Litvinenko: 'I'm for justice and truth'

The widow of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has said she fought for a public inquiry for "justice and truth."

Using the name her husband's loved ones knew him as, Marina Litvinenko told reporters: "For me it is very important because there is a lot of speculation about why Sacha died and what happened. I want to finish the speculation about his death."

She added: "It is very difficult to say what I feel exactly now but I was waiting for this day.... I'm for justice and truth."

No.10: Litvinenko inquiry 'not linked' to Ukraine tensions

There is "no link whatsoever" between the announcement of a public inquiry into the death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko and the current tensions with Russia over the Ukraine, according to David Cameron's official spokesman.

Alexander Litvinenko shortly before his death.
Alexander Litvinenko shortly before his death. Credit: PA

The probe will begin on July 31st and is planned to be complete by the end of next year, they said, adding that it will hold most of its hearings in public, although it could go into closed session if national security was put at risk.

Under the Inquiries Act, Sir Robert Owen who is leading the investigation will have the power to demand the production of witnesses and papers within UK jurisdiction, including agents and documents from the security and intelligence services.

However, he has no such powers in relation to evidence from Russia.

Litvinenko's widow 'delighted' about public inquiry

Alexander Litvinenko's widow said she is "relieved and delighted" that a public inquiry is to be held in her husband's 2006 death.

Marina Litvinenko.
Marina Litvinenko. Credit: PA

Referring to her husband as Sacha, the name her husband's loved ones knew him by, Marina Litvinenko said: "I am relieved and delighted with this decision. It sends a message to Sacha's murderers: no matter how strong and powerful you are, truth will win out in the end and you will be held accountable for your crimes.

She added: "It has taken nearly eight years to bring those culpable for Sacha's murder to justice. I look forward to the day when the truth behind my husband's murder is revealed for the whole world to see."

Last year, the government rejected a request for an inquiry into the killing of Litvinenko, who died after drinking tea poisoned with polonium - 210, a rare radioactive isotope.

In a letter to Sir Robert Owen, the current Coroner in the Inquest into Mr. Litvinenko’s death, May admitted "international relations" were a factor in the Government's decision.

Sir Robert will chair the new public inquiry.

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Public inquiry opened into Litvinenko poisoning

Home Secretary Theresa May announced that a public inquiry will be held into the death of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Alexander Litvinenko died after drinking tea laced with polonium
Alexander Litvinenko died after drinking tea laced with polonium. Credit: PA

May said: "I very much hope that this inquiry will be of some comfort to his widow."

Litvinenko, 43, died after drinking tea that was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210.

His widow, Marina is expected to speak later today.

Govt to take student loan recommendations 'seriously'

The Department for Business has welcomed an MPs' report that claims the student loans system is "at tipping point" due to Government miscalculations, saying it will take the recommendations "seriously".

A spokeswoman said: "The costs of the loan system are based on projections of graduate repayments over the next 35 years. These projections will continue to fluctuate due to numerous macroeconomic variables, and present no immediate pressure on the system.

An MPs' report that claims the student loans system is "at tipping point" due to Government miscalculations.
An MPs' report that claims the student loans system is "at tipping point" due to Government miscalculations. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive

"The Government is committed to ensuring that the taxpayer is receiving value for money.

"This is why we are continuing to work with the Student Loans Company on improving best practice and have already dramatically tightened the regime for recouping repayments from graduates both domestically and overseas."

Government 'has worrying student loans record'

The Department for Business has a "worrying record" of miscalculating student loans repayments, a group of influential MPs has warned.

More disturbing is the fact that independent forecasters have been recommending improvements to the Government's methodology for some years, which the department has ignored.

We recommend that it starts to listen now.

– Commons Business Select Committee report

The committee's report goes on to suggest that the Government is already struggling to collect student loan debts, with approximately 14,000 graduates living overseas behind on their repayments.

Public inquiry into Litvinenko poisoning 'expected'

Good Morning Britain's Richard Gaisford is outside the Millennium Hotel in London's Grosvenor Square:

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At London hotel where former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in 2006. Expect news of public inquiry today http://t.co/Vzi0rR7VRd

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