Alexander Litvinenko death: Government orders details of MI6 contact to be kept secret
ELEMENTS of a police report on whether murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko had contact with the British intelligence service before he died are to be kept secret.
• Alexander Litvinenko died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006
• Details of police report redacted at Government’s request
• Inquest to begin in 2013
Parts of a police report on whether murdered Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko had contact with the British intelligence service before he died will be kept secret at the government’s request, it has emerged.
The Metropolitan Police investigated whether Mr Litvinenko was in touch with MI6 prior to his death in November 2006, a pre-inquest review hearing was told.
Counsel for the inquest, Hugh Davies, said the contents of the police report are known to his team and to the coroner, Sir Robert Owen.
However, they will not be disclosed to the other parties represented at the inquest, at the request of the government.
Mr Davies said: “Claims have been made to the effect that Mr Litvinenko had contact with British intelligence service prior to his death. As part of its investigation, the Metropolitan Police Service made an inquiry into these claims.
“Pending the outcome of the disclosure exercise under way, the product of these inquiries which are known to you sir, and counsel and solicitors to the inquest, has been redacted from the report at the request of Her Majesty’s Government.
“This redaction should not be taken as indicating whether Mr Litvinenko did indeed have any such contact.”
Mr Litvinenko, 43, was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a meeting, allegedly with two Russians – former KGB contacts Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun – at the Millennium Hotel in London’s Grosvenor Square.
At the start of yesterday’s hearing, held to establish how the inquest will be conducted, Sir Robert said: “It has been almost six years since his death in November 2006. Such a delay is regrettable.
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