Coroner won't examine Russia in Litvinenko case

LONDON (AP) — The coroner examining the poisoning death of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko says the question of whether the Russian state was responsible will be withdrawn from the scope of the inquiry.

In a ruling Thursday, Robert Owen also says he will not examine whether Britain was aware of any risks to Litvinenko's life and failed to take reasonable steps to protect him before he died after drinking tea laced with the radioactive isotope polonium-210.

Owen made the announcement following a successful legal bid by Britain's government to keep documents that might be relevant secret. He said that because all the evidence available can't be considered, any conclusion would be incomplete.

Britain has accused two Russians of the 2006 killing, but Moscow has refused to extradite them.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.