Britain does U-turn on ex-KGB agent Litvinenko murder inquiry
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 01:35
Britain announces it will conduct a public inquiry into death of a former Russian spy who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder. Sarah Toms reports.
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A U-turn by the British government.
Last year an inquiry into the killing of a former Russian spy in London was declined, partly because of Anglo-Russian relations.
But on Tuesday, that decision was reversed, when the Home Secretary announced a public inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.
Both the government and Litvinenko's widow denied the turnabout was linked to the the shooting of a Malaysia airlines jet.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) WIDOW OF ALEXANDER LITVINENKO, MARINA LITVINENKO, SPEAKING:
" I believed one day it will happen but it's happened today when it's a very difficult situation in the world and the relationship between Russia and all west community and what happened in Ukraine it makes all my case now in a very different prospect. But I'm definitely sure it was not taken because of this. The decision of public inquiry it would be anyway. But I think it just happened and not just because for today. But it makes very, very strong feeling about, particularly for me."
Litvinenko made headlines around the world when he died after drinking radioactive tea at a London hotel in 2006. A fierce critic of the Kremlin, he had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder before he died.
Russia has rejected claims it ordered the killing but the coroner has said there was evidence the Kremlin was involved.
It's been nearly eight years since he was laid to rest. Now, after Tuesday the world may be one step closer to finding out what lay behind stem.scripts. murder -- a British citizen killed on British soil.
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