LONDON, July 31 (RAPSI) - Marina Litvinenko, widow of ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko who died in 2006 in London, and her lawyer, Elena Tsirlina, do not know how long a public inquiry into Litvinenko’ death will take but hope it will reveal the circumstances of his death and identify those responsible, RIA Novosti reports.
Thursday, Sir Robert Owen, senior judge in Litvinenko’s case, formally stopped the investigation into the case and announced that a public inquiry would be held. The next public inquiry hearing is to start September 5, while a hearing on the case merits will be held in January 2015.
Litvinenko died on November 23, 2006, as a result of poisoning by highly radioactive polonium – 210. His health started to deteriorate after a meeting with his former colleagues, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, at the Millennium hotel in London. The inquiry into the circumstances of his death reached a dead end after coroner Sir Robert Owen, upon the request of the government, ruled against admitting some documents regarding the possible involvement of the Russian state in Litvinenko’s death and the possibility of his death being prevented.
Unlike the investigation, a public inquiry will allow the admission of classified information. In a statement by UK Home Secretary Theresa May, who earlier refused to hold a public inquiry and then had to review her decision upon a court ruling, said that a public inquiry would not consider whether UK officials could have prevented Litvinenko’s death.