MOSCOW, January 20 (RAPSI) – A public inquiry into the death eight years ago of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko will end on March 31, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday, citing the coroner Sir Robert Owen.
The coroner said the closing arguments would be delivered on Tuesday, March 31. The inquiry, which will be open to the public and media, is scheduled to start on January 27 and to last 10 weeks.
It’s unclear how long the closed hearings, which will be held after the public inquiry, will last. The final conclusions will be made after the closed hearings, said an individual involved in the proceedings.
The last day of the preliminary hearings was devoted exclusively to technical issues.
Litvinenko defected to the UK in 2000. He died in 2006 after drinking tea allegedly laced with radioactive polonium-210 with former colleagues Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London. He was believed to work for Britain’s MI6 intelligence service. Traces of highly radioactive polonium-210 were found in his body.
The inquiry that was opened to establish the circumstances of his death rather than punish the guilty persons was deadlocked last May, when Sir Robert Owen said he would withhold some of the classified files and keep secret parts of the inquiry related to the alleged involvement of Russia and possible prevention of the crime. He said he would do so at the request of the government.