Britain's intelligent services, MI5 and MI6 will unveil classified documents relating to the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006, The Daily Mail reported on Monday.
The documents relate to Britain’s investigation into allegations that Russian agents were behind Litvinenko’s murder while he was allegedly working for the British security services. Russia has denied any link with the killing.
According to The Daily Mail, Dr Andrew Reid, the St. Pancras coroner who is investigating Litvinenko’s death, initiated the disclosure. “He has agreed to consider allegations that Mr Litvinenko was murdered because of his outspoken criticism of Vladimir Putin,” the paper said.
“The inquiry will extend beyond the mechanical circumstances of death. If Mr Litvinenko is shown to have died as a result of ingestion of Polonium 210, the public interest plainly demands an open and fearless investigation into the full circumstances, including how and why this fatal ingestion occurred,” The Daily Mail quoted Reid as saying. “Any lesser level of inquiry would not command public confidence either nationally or internationally.”
In October 2011, Litvinenko's wife, Marina told The Mail that her husband had worked for British intelligence. He was believed to be involved in combating Europe-based Russian criminal gangs, the paper said.
Litvinenko, a former KGB officer and outspoken critic of then-president Vladimir Putin, died in November 2006 in a London hospital after being poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210.
A major diplomatic row ensued after Moscow had rejected London’s requests to extradite the main suspect for Litvinenko’s murder, former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi. The row led to a drastic deterioration in bilateral relations. Lugovoi has denied involvement in the killing.