London court on Litvinenko case being pressured - State Duma deputy Lugovoi
Andrei Lugovoi, deputy of the Russian State Duma and the UK's suspect in the murder of former Russian security service officer Alexander Litvinenko, is considering whether to continue to participate in court proceedings in London.
"We consider the appeal of British Foreign Secretary William Hague not to disclose documents related to Litvinenko's ties with the MI6 intelligence service during the inquiry as an attempt to pressure the court. I'm considering whether to participate in the court proceedings further. I'll consult my Russian lawyers on this issue," Lugovoi told Interfax on Wednesday.
A number of British media reports have said that the coroner, Judge Robert Owen, who is leading the inquest into Litvinenko's death, might delay the main hearings scheduled for May. Foreign Secretary William Hague has asked to withhold some documents, including those related to Litvinenko's ties with MI6, since their disclosure might cause harm to the public.
"I personally doubt that the investigation can be objective if some materials aren't available to lawyers," Lugovoi said.
Lugovoi said in September 2012 that he hoped the London Coroner's Court would help to reveal true reason of Litvinenko's death.
Litvinenko, who fled to the UK in 2000, died in November 2006 soon after meeting his former colleagues Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun. Traces of the radioactive element polonium 210 were found in Litvinenko's body, however an official medical report on the cause of Litvinenko's death has not been released yet.
The British authorities have demanded that Russia extradite Lugovoi. Russia denied this request since the Russian Constitution prohibits extradition of a Russian citizen to another country. Lugovoi denied any involvement in Litvinenko's death.
The lie-detector test that Lugovoi took in April 2012 has shown his innocence.