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Andrei Lugovoy states he quits trial over Litvinenko murder case in Britain

March 12, 2013, 16:20 UTC+3

"I lost completely the faith in the British judicial system," State Duma deputy said

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MOSCOW, March 12 (Itar-Tass) – State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoy stated that he quits the trial over the murder of former officer of the Federal Security Service Alexander Litvinenko in London. The preliminary hearings in this trial have already passed in Britain, the court granted the status of the party concerned to Lugovoy.

Lugovoy told reporters in Moscow that on behalf of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office a letter came to Judge Robert Owen with the proposal to classify the most important part of the documents in the Litvinenko murder case as threatening to British national security.

“The judge decided to hold a behind-closed-doors court session in the absence of my lawyer on the basis of the most important criminal materials. How to reject the accusations against me, if they are not declassified? I came to conclusion that I cannot obtain justice in Britain, and I was trying to take all the efforts to help the investigation, but after this I lost completely the faith in the British judicial system after that. I am quitting the coroner’s inquest and will not participate in it any longer,” Lugovoy stated.

Lugovoy noted that at the first stage of preparations to the court proceedings in the London Coroner’s Court it was decided that the court hearings will be open, and he received the London police dossier on the Litvinenko murder case. “I read this absolutely biased report, this police dossier represents politicised fantasies of London detectives, behind which a true goal is obvious – to accuse Russia of a contract murder with the use of polonium. All allegations of the British press were repeated in it,” Lugovoy stated.

“London detectives were investigating the version of Kremlin’s alleged involvement in the Litvinenko murder case. Other versions were not investigated. The police report did not contain a single fact that proves my guilt. But, on the contrary, the traces of polonium are leading not from Moscow to London, but from London to Moscow,” the State Duma deputy noted.

Lugovoy stated that he learnt from the London police dossier that Litvinenko was an operating British spy and was cooperating with the Spanish security services in the operations against the mafia bosses from the former Soviet republics. “Litvinenko was engaged in commercial intelligence, he was participating in the operation to give political asylum to Boris Berezovsky in Britain. It is no surprise that Litvinenko had many enemies with this style of life,” Lugovoy said.

Meanwhile, Lugovoy stated that he is ready to participate in the trial in case of the openness of the trial and groundless suspicions to be lifted from him.

For his part, Lugovoy’s lawyer Vladislav Reznik explained to journalists that his participation in the coroner’s trial in London is senseless, because the court verdict classified an important part of evidence unknown for Lugovoy, and therefore this evidence cannot be refuted. “With this approach our participation is senseless,” the lawyer said.

Former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko died in London in November 2006. The detectives found that he died of radioactive polonium poisoning. However, the exact details of the crime are not exposed yet and cause the disputes.

The investigation in Litvinenko’s death was submitted in the London Coroner’s Court, the task of which is to find that his death has criminal connections. At the stage of preparations to the court hearings the British court granted to the Russian Investigation Committee the status of the party concerned, permitting it to participate in the trial. Other parties concerned include the family of late Litvinenko, businessman Boris Berezovsky, Andrei Lugovoy, London police and the British Home Office.


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