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Litvinenko Inquest – Background

On October 13, 2011 Dr. Andrew Reed, a coroner in North London ruled to hold a comprehensive inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. An Inquest is a form of judicial inquiry allowing the review of a suspicious death outside of criminal procedure, without a prosecution or an accused. An inquest cannot decide questions of guilt or penalize a suspect, but can designate a death as a murder and name the responsible parties. The best known example of inquest is the one into the death of Princess Diana.
 
In the course of the Litvinenko Inquest, the court will hear the arguments of interested parties, the testimony of witnesses and experts and review evidence in the case. The question of the alleged complicity of the Russian government will be reviewed. In addition to Marina Litvinenko, interested parties include Andrei Lugovoy and Boris Berezovsky, who have been mentioned as suspects, as well as the Metropolitan Police and  the British government. It is expected that the police file will be made public, and officers of Sсotland Yard and British secret services (MI5 and MI6) would testify.
 
For those who, like Alexander Litvinenko himself, believe that he was poisoned by the agents of Russian state acting on orders of Vladimir Putin, this would be a unique opportunity to give these allegations judicial recognition, as a criminal trial is not likely to ever happen. For the suspects, this is the only chance to clear their names.
 
Dr Reid is expected to decide on the inquest’s details and dates in the next few days. Please follow our bulletins.  

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