MOSCOW, December 14 - RAPSI. The Investigative Committee has confirmed its intention to take part in the UK inquest into the death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

During the preliminary hearings held on Thursday, attorney Hugh Davis said that the Investigative Committee submitted a letter to the court in which it says it intends to take part in the inquest as an interested party.

"The Investigative Committee's solicitors and barristers will shortly be filing a motion with the UK court to be granted a procedural status, so as to assist the court in considering the case comprehensively, fully and impartially," the Investigative Committee wrote.

Litvinenko, who fled to Great Britain in 2000, died on November 23, 2006, at the age of 44, shortly after having tea with his former colleagues Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun in London's Millennium Hotel. Doctors announced that they had found high levels of polonium-210 in Litvinenko's body. The cause of death established after his autopsy has not yet been published.

The Litvinenko case has caused a serious deterioration in UK-Russian relations after Russia refused to extradite Lugovoy, who was charged in Britain with Litvinenko's murder. According to later reports, the UK authorities also requested Kovtun's extradition on the same charges.

The interested parties at the inquest will include Litvinenko's wife Marina, exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was a close friend and sponsor of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoy, the main suspect in the case on Litvinenko's murder according to the version of the United Kingdom, the Metropolitan Police Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and the UK government.