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British experts arrive in Moscow in ex-spy death probe -1

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Detectives from Scotland Yard have arrived in Moscow to investigate the death of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the airport.
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LONDON, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Detectives from Scotland Yard have arrived in Moscow to investigate the death of former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the airport.

The British experts refused to answer journalists' questions.

Russian defector Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin's administration and a close associate of exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, died in a London hospital November 23. His body was found to contain a lethal dose of polonium 210, a radioactive isotope.

British media has said that Scotland Yard detectives would travel to Moscow to interview several people who met with Litvinenko around the time of his alleged poisoning in early November, including businessman and former KGB and FSB colleague Andrei Lugovoi.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, two businessmen who contacted Litvinenko shortly before his death, Dmitry Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko, will also be questioned by British detectives, along with two other witnesses whose names have not been disclosed.

Following Litvinenko's death, Western media circulated a message purporting to be his deathbed note, in which he accused President Putin of orchestrating his death. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.

An Italian security consultant, Mario Scaramella, who met with Litvinenko on the day he fell ill on November 1, has also been diagnosed with polonium 210 poisoning. He said Saturday that he and Litvinenko were poisoned because of secret information they shared, but did not elaborate.

In ongoing investigations run by Scotland Yard, trace amounts of radiation have been discovered at 12 sites in Britain and on two British Airways planes that flew the Moscow-London route.

The results of Litvinenko's post-mortem examination Friday have been passed on to toxicologists for analysis, and have yet to be announced.

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