LONDON, July 12 (RIA Novosti) – The British government has refused a request to hold a public inquiry into the 2006 death of former Russian Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko, a coroner said Friday.
Coroner Sir Robert Owen, who leads the inquest into Litvinenko's death, said during hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice in London that his request to hold a full public inquiry to replace his lower-level inquest had been refused.
Owen requested an inquiry in May, after he reluctantly upheld an order by the UK Foreign Office to keep crucial evidence in the case secret because it contained information vital to national security.
A public inquiry, unlike an inquest, can receive evidence behind closed doors. In this case it would mean that evidence involving matters of national security can be received by the court.