‘What the report does say:
The report sets out in extensive detail Alexander Litvinenko’s career inside outside Russia: including his relationship with Boris Berezovsky and the history of his pilgrimage from loyal KGB officer to vocal critic of Putin’s regime. Sir Robert Owen sets out at length in a section entitled “Why would anyone wish to kill Alexander Litvinenko” his conclusions as why the Russian State, in particular, the Federal Security Service (or FSB) and President Putin himself, would have reason to regard Alexander Litvinenko as a traitor and an ongoing thorn in its side through his investigative work and publications. For example, he sets out Alexander Litvinenko’s controversial allegations that President Putin had been involved in instigating the September 1999 apartment bombings in Russia that had killed nearly 300, and that he has a history as a pedophile.
The report similarly exhaustively sets out the literal trail of forensic evidence in the form of radioactive contamination whose discovery that enabled the tracking both of the polonium that eventually poisoned Alexander Litivinenko and of the two men (Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun) who were stated to have used the polonium to poison his tea. The report recreates a near complete picture of Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun’s movements during their visits to London in the autumn of 2006 and of their various meetings with Alexander Litivienko.’
The publication on Thursday of the long awaited report by Sir Robert Owen into the circumstances of the death of Alexander Litivenko from polonium poisoning on 23 November 2006 has (unsurprisingly) resulted in bitter criticism by the Russian Government of the Inquiry’s conclusions that the poisoning was probably directed by the Russian Federal Security Service, and probably approved by President Putin. The report is long (246 pages not including Appendices), but in page after page of readable and measured prose Sir Robert Owen tells the extraordinary story of Alexander Litvinenko’s death and the subsequent 9 year investigation into it.
The origin of the Inquiry
The Inquiry was established on 31 July 2014 following a torturous procedural history (including two Divisional Court hearings and the successful judicial review of the Home Secretary’s refusal to hold a statutory inquiry) and considerable argument as to the nature, scope and conduct of the official investigation into Alexander Litvinenko’s…
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