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Former KGB officer Kovtun not to testify in ex-spy Litvinenko probe — representative

July 28, 2015, 12:47 UTC+3
Kovtun whom the UK suspects of complicity in the death of defected Russian spy Litvinenko in 2006 earlier expressed his readiness to take part in the inquiry
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Dmitry Kovtun

Dmitry Kovtun

© TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

LONDON, July 28. /TASS/. Russian businessman and ex-KGB officer Dmitry Kovtun will not testify in an ongoing public inquiry into the death of former Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko in the High Court in London, Kovtun’s representative said via video-link from Moscow on Tuesday.

Kovtun earlier expressed his readiness to take part in the inquiry, following which the High Court of Justice said on Monday it was giving the former KGB officer time until 09:00 GMT (11:00 Moscow time) on Tuesday to resolve all legal issues preventing his participation in hearings via a video-link from Moscow.

Kovtun whom the UK suspects of complicity in the death of defected Russian spy Litvinenko in 2006 said earlier his participation in the inquiry was technically impossible at present as he had been unable to contact with the relevant Russian investigator to get permission to testify.

"Even if the investigator, who I have not been able to reach, gave me permission he would still have to make a decision on how much information I could disclose," he told the BBC on Monday.

Kovtun said several months ago he was ready to testify by video-link from Moscow to refute the evidence in the UK linking him to Litvinenko’s fatal poisoning in 2006.

Kovtun insists he is not in any way involved in Litvinenko’s death like another former Russian intelligence officer Andrey Lugovoy.

Lugovoy and Kovtun met with Litvinenko shortly before his death and were named as the main suspects in the case.

Litvinenko who had been an officer of the Federal Security Service, 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.

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