Posted on Nov 16, 2019
The widow of a Russian dissident and former spy murdered in London in an operation “probably ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin", plans to challenge a decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government not to publish a report on alleged Russian meddling in Britain, a lawyer representing the widow said.
Marina Litvinenko (pictured left), whose husband Alexander, a former KGB agent, was murdered with a radioactive isotope in 2006, sent Johnson a letter on Wednesday saying she planned to take legal action, lawyer Elena Tsirlina said.
“A response is now expected by 4 p.m. on 19 November 2019,” Tsirlina said in a statement, adding Litvinenko would only proceed if she secures, along with Alex Goldfarb, a friend of her late husband who has been accused by Russia of carrying out the murder, funding via the CrowdJustice fund-raising site by that date.
"We ask for your help in funding a defamation suit against two Russian propaganda outlets, Channel One and RT (Russia Today), which accused Alex of Litvinenko's murder in order to to vindicate the real murderers"
Litvinenko’s page on the site said there was “a profound public interest in the information being disclosed to the public, so they are fully informed of the extent of Russian interference in British politics before they go to the polls on 12 December 2019.”
The report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has been cleared by Britain’s security services but it has not yet been approved for publication by Johnson’s office, meaning it will not be released before the election since parliament has shut to allow for campaigning.
Britain has accused Russia of meddling and trying to interfere in elections in the West, which Moscow denies.
The ISC was examining allegations of Russian activity aimed at the United Kingdom, including in the 2016 referendum on EU membership when Johnson was a leading Leave campaigner.
According to a British public inquiry in 2016, two Russians carried out Litvinenko’s murder, one of them a former KGB bodyguard who became a Russian lawmaker, in an operation probably ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in accordance with powers given to him in June 2006, five months before the killing, by amendments know as 153-FZ, authorising the "elimination" of Russia's enemies abroad on the orders of the president.
Gary Cartwright is the author of Putin's Legacy: Russian policy and the new arms race (2009) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Putin...
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