World Bulletin / News Desk
Britain appointed a senior judge on Thursday to conduct an inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian agent turned Kremlin critic whose murder in London in 2006, chilling relations between London and Moscow.
The judge, Robert Owen, will hold a preliminary hearing in September to decide how the inquest will be conducted and whether it will be heard before a jury, Britain's Judicial Office said.
Russia has refused to extradite Andrei Lugovoy, an ex-KGB bodyguard Britain wants to prosecute forLitvinenko's murder by poisoning with radioactive polonium.
The incident sent ties between the countries plunging to a post-Cold War low and led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.
It did not identify the target of the civil action, which coincides with criminal inquiries into suspected fraud underway in Belgium and the Netherlands.
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The 63-year-old leader, in power for nearly 12 years, also said she hoped to appoint equal numbers of male and female ministers from her conservative party if she wins a fourth term, though she could not speak for possible coalition partners.
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London Southend Airport remains open despite images showing thick, black smoke
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'We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism,' say AFL-CIO representatives
Aid donated by humanitarian group for children in drought-stricken nation
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Grace Mugabe fails to appear after reportedly turning self into police to face assault charges