UK gov't announces inquiry on Russian spy death

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.

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