Russia May Sue British Government Over ‘Litvinenko Slander’

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The Kremlin could sue Britain for slander over claims that Putin ordered assassination of Alexander Litvinenko

British government

Russia may sue the British government for slander over comments made in the wake of the inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the country’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said.

During his annual press conference on Monday, Lavrov stressed that the results of Robert Owens inquiry, which concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin had  ‘probabaly’ sanctioned the assassination of Litvinenko, would “seriously complicate” ties with the UK.

Press TV reports:

Litvinenko, a former KGB agent and a critic of Putin, died of polonium poisoning in London in 2006. Last week, an inquiry led by Sir Robert Owen concluded that Litvinenko was killed by two Russian nationals during a Federal Security Service operation “probably” authorized by the Russian president. Russia has rejected the allegations as a politicized “joke”.

“Serious accusations have been laid at the door of the Russian leadership, without any evidence whatsoever being presented,” said Lavrov, adding that the presentation of secret and circumstantial evidence in closed court sessions and the use of the term “probably” in the conclusion of the inquiry are “unprecedented in jurisprudence.”

“If one hired a decent lawyer and analyzed these facts and the statements that have been made by the leadership of the British government, I think one could well find plenty of grounds for slander,” the Russian foreign minister added.

Niamh Harris
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