LONDON (AP) — The British government has announced plans for a public inquiry into the 2006 death of poisoned ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
The decision means investigators can look into whether the Russian state played a role in the death of Litvinenko. Home Secretary Theresa May announced the inquiry Tuesday. The decision comes at a time of rising tensions with Russia.
A coroner's inquest — the normal method of examining an unexplained death — has been barred from considering secret evidence about the possible role of the Russian state.
Until now, the UK government has declined to conduct a full scale inquiry, long sought by Litvinenko's widow, Marina.
Britain's High Court ruled earlier this year that the government had to reconsider its decision not to hold an inquiry.