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Kremlin does not perceive Litvinenko death investigation results as verdict

January 21, 20:39 UTC+3
The talk is about some judgments based on probability, on the use of words ‘possibly’, ‘probably’," Kremlin spokesman points out
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Turi Mashkov/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. The Kremlin does not perceive as verdict any part of the results of investigation into the death of Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) defector Alexander Litvinenko, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

"Why am I saying ‘quasi-investigation' and why can’t we perceive that as an investigation?" Peskov told journalists. "Because the talk is about some judgments based on probability, on the use of words ‘possibly’, ‘probably’."

He said "such terminology is not allowed in Russian judicial practice; nor is it allowed in court practices of other countries, and it certainly can’t be perceived by us as a verdict in any part [of the investigation’s results]."

According to Peskov, the results of the investigation may be ironically "referred to subtle British humor."

"The fact that a public inquiry is based on classified data of special services, unnamed special services, and that the verdict based on these ephemeral data is brought with the abundant use of the words ‘possibly’ and ‘probably’," the Kremlin spokesman explained.

Britain on Thursday made public a report of a public investigation into the circumstances of Alexander Litvinenko’s death. The inquiry claimed that Russian citizens Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun killed Litvinenko in London in 2006.

"The FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev, then head of the FSB, and also by President Putin," senior British judge Robert Owen who led the inquiry in particular said in the report.

"I have concluded that there is a strong probability that when Mr Lugovoy poisoned Mr Litvinenko, he did so under the direction of the FSB. I have further concluded that Mr Kovtun was also acting under FSB direction," he also claimed.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed any claims of any involvement in the death of Litvinenko.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said Thursday that the use by the British side of legal arrangements in political games creates a dangerous precedent.

"The actions of the British side," Zakharova said, "create a dangerous precedent of using internal legal mechanisms for a politically biased and non-transparent investigation with results determined beforehand, fully replacing by that objective court proceedings and making just an ordered politicized farce out of a normal court process."

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman recalled that "the Russian side has repeatedly voiced its interest in an objective and unbiased investigation of the causes of death of not only Litvinenko but in general Russian nationals [and there are many of them], who, under various circumstances, including very strange ones, have regularly died and keep dying in Great Britain."

Litvinenko who had been an officer of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, defected to England where he received political asylum. He died in London on November 23, 2006. As an expert study found, he was poisoned with radioactive polonium but the circumstances of his death have not been established to date.

The lawyers of the poisoned agent’s widow admitted that before his death Litvinenko had worked for the special services of the United Kingdom (MI-6) and Spain for several years.

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