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UK Role in Preventing Litvinenko’s Death out of Consideration – Home Secretary

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Public inquiry on former Russian Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko’s death will not touch upon whether the UK authorities could have prevented his death, Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May said in her statement Tuesday.

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Public inquiry on former Russian Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko’s death will not touch upon whether the UK authorities could have prevented his death, Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May said in her statement Tuesday.

“In the light of the Assistant Coroner’s views, expressed in his ruling of 17 May 2013, that there is no material within the relevant documents to suggest that, at any material time, Alexander Litvinenko was or ought to have been assessed as being at a real and immediate threat to his life, the inquiry will not address the question of whether the UK authorities could or should have taken steps which would have prevented the death,” May stated.

It is an issue that could not be investigated during the inquest into Litvinenko’s death earlier, as the inquest did not allow considering certain sensitive material on the case.

With public inquiry approved by the UK government, this material, potentially relating to the alleged role of Russia in Litvinenko’s death, can be used in the investigation.

Alexander Litvinenko fled to Britain in 2000 where he was granted asylum after holding a press conference in Moscow, claiming he had been ordered to assassinate the former oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Upon his arrival in London, he also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin. Just before his death, Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his assassination.

Litvinenko died on November 23, 2006 of poisoning by radioactive polonium-210 in London.

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