Widow of ex-KGB agent backs legal action for release of UK’s Russia report


LONDON (Reuters) – The widow of a Russian dissident murdered in London has backed a lawful obstacle to drive Key Minister Boris Johnson’s federal government to publish a report on alleged Russian meddling in British politics.

FILE Photo: Marina Litvinenko, widow of previous Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, poses for a portrait for the duration of an job interview with Reuters in London, Britain, March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Image

The report by parliament’s Intelligence and Safety Committee (ISC) was cleared by Britain’s security solutions but Johnson’s office has not yet produced it, meaning it will not be posted prior to the Dec. twelve election as parliament has shut to let for campaigning.

Marina Litvinenko, whose spouse Alexander, a previous Russian spy, was murdered with a radioactive isotope in London in 2006, sent a letter to Johnson very last 7 days warning that she would take lawful action to pressure publication.

She mentioned she experienced now thrown her assist powering one more court docket challenge led by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, her legal professionals mentioned in a assertion.

“Mrs Litvinenko is very disappointed with the primary minister’s hollow reasoning and politically opportunistic conclusion to manage his refusal to publish the ISC report, notwithstanding the cross-celebration and community demand for this action,” the assertion mentioned.

Britain has accused Russia of meddling and making an attempt to interfere in elections in the West, which Moscow denies.

The ISC was inspecting allegations of Russian activity aimed at the United Kingdom, together with in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, when Johnson was a leading Go away campaigner.

The Sunday Times newspaper documented this thirty day period that the report would name 9 Russian small business men and women who gave dollars to Johnson’s Conservative Bash.

Johnson and the federal government have said there was nothing uncommon about the timing of the report’s publication and it was not staying suppressed.

According to a British community inquiry in 2016, two Russians carried out Litvinenko’s murder, one particular of them a previous KGB bodyguard who turned a Russian lawmaker, in an operation almost certainly ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If the ISC report shows there is Russian interference in British politics, and that this led to a weak reaction to (her) husband’s murder, the community must know about it as shortly as achievable,” the assertion from Marina Litvinenko’s attorneys explained.

Reporting by Michael Holden modifying by Stephen Addison