MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) – The inquest into the death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 has been postponed until October.
Coroner Sir Robert Owen said on Thursday at a Royal Courts of Justice hearing in the British capital that he was postponing the inquest “with great reluctance.”
He said he had no choice, however, as both the British and Russian authorities had been slow to provide material for the inquest.
Litvinenko, a 43-year-old former Federal Security Service officer, was poisoned with the toxic radioactive isotope Polonium-210 in London in 2006, shortly after he was granted UK citizenship.
Britain suspects Andrei Lugovoi, also an ex- FSB officer, of murdering Litvinenko. Lugovoi, now a lawmaker in the Russian parliament, denies the charges. The Kremlin has refused to extradite him to Britain.
Litvinenko was a fierce Kremlin critic who alleged Russia’s security services had blown up residential buildings in Moscow and other cities as part of a plot to ensure Vladimir Putin’s victory in the 2000 presidential polls. The Russian government said the attacks on the buildings were the work of Chechen separatists.