A report about the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer who was poisoned at a central London hotel in 2006, will omit references to Litvinenko contacts with British spy agency M16.
At a preliminary hearing about the Litvinenko inquiry held on Thursday in London, it was decided that Scotland Yard detectives will look into the Russian spy's contacts with M16 before his murder, the New York Times reported. Litvinenko had become a British citizen just weeks before his death.
The evidence found by Scotland Yard will be shown only to Litvinenko's relatives and those immediately involved with the case; other interested parties will receive an edited version of the full report, the United Kingdom Press Association reported.
The inquest's hearings are set for early 2013, according to the senior judge presiding over the case, BBC News reported.
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“It has been almost six years since his death in November 2006," said the case's senior judge Sir Robert Owen. "Such a delay is regrettable. There will be no further delay. It is manifestly in the interests of the interested persons, in particular his widow, Marina Litvinenko, and his son Anatoly Litvinenko, of the other interested persons and in the wider public interest that the inquest is brought to a conclusion with due expedition.”
On his deathbed, Litvinenko—a vocal critic of Russian authorities who had been granted asylum in Britain—reportedly accused Russia's President Vladimir Putin of being responsible for poisoning him, the Times reported.
His wife Marina has maintained that her husband was poisoned with a rare radioactive substance, polonium 210, and that the Russian government was to blame, Britain's News Channel 4 reported.
"If that hypothesis were to be evidentially substantiated, this would be an act of state-sponsored nuclear terrorism on the streets of London," Ben Emmerson, Marina Litvinenko lawyer, told BBC News.
Two Russians, former KGB officers Alexander Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, have been accused of killing Litvinenko, but Russia has refused to extradite them to Britain, citing their constitutional obligations to their citizens, the Associated Press reported.
Another pre-trial hearing has been set for November 2nd.