Litvinenko Wife Defies Brits, Demands Inquiry

Poisoned spy's widow wants to expose Putin's role in his murder
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2008 10:04 AM CDT
Litvinenko Wife Defies Brits, Demands Inquiry
Marina Litvinenko, wife of the former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, picture seen on flowers, who was poisoned by polonium 210.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Alexander Litvinenko's widow calls for a public inquiry into the poisoning of the Russian spy in an op-ed for today's Times of London. Both the British foreign secretary and Scotland Yard have sought to dissuade her from petitioning for an inquest, saying it would prejudge a criminal trial against chief suspect Andrei Lugovoy. But after 15 months, writes Marina Litvinenko, it is clear that he will never be extradited.

The UK says it has an "ironclad" case against Lugovoy, who has since been elected to the Russian parliament. "While the British authorities are constrained by due process," Litvinenko writes, "the Kremlin has embarked on a propaganda campaign designed to divert the blame from itself." An inquest, she says, would expose Lugovoy as a murderer to the Russian people—and Vladimir Putin as his patron. (More Alexander Litvinenko stories.)

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