UK govt wins secrecy order for Litvinenko probe

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Associated Press

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 27 at 4:00 AM

LONDON (AP) — The British government has won a court order ensuring that key aspects of an inquiry into the death of a poisoned former Kremlin agent remain secret.

Alexander Litvinenko, an intelligence agent turned Kremlin critic, died in London in 2006 after drinking tea laced with the radioactive isotope polonium-210.

Britain accuses two Russians of the killing, but Moscow refuses to extradite them.

Coroner Robert Owen has said the only way to get key evidence into the open is to hold a public inquiry.

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary William Hague succeeded in overturning Owen's decision to disclose some documents.

Judge John Goldring said Owen had not given sufficient weight to Hague's views.

The government says the documents are sensitive and that public disclosure would harm the national interest.

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