LONDON (AP) — A senior British judge says he will hold an inquest into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko early next year.
Judge Robert Owen said Thursday there must be no further delay. It is almost six years since the former security service officer died in November 2006.
Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin, died in London after ingesting polonium-210, a rare radioactive isotope.
British prosecutors have accused two Russians, Alexander Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, of killing Litvinenko, but Russia refuses to hand them over.
In Britain an inquest is held to determine the facts whenever someone dies unexpectedly, violently or in disputed circumstances.