Russian meddling report – dissident’s widow goes to law – The Guardian

The widow of a Russian dissident murdered in London plans to challenge a government decision not to publish a report on alleged Russian meddling in Britain, a lawyer representing the widow said.

Marina Litvinenko, whose husband Alexander, a former KGB agent, was murdered with a radioactive isotope in 2006, sent Boris Johnson a letter on Wednesday telling the prime minister she planned to take legal action, lawyer Elena Tsirlina said.

“A response is now expected by 4pm on [Tuesday] 19 November,” Tsirlina said in a statement, adding that Litvinenko would only proceed if she secures funding via the CrowdJustice fundraising site by that date.

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.”

Litvinenko has previously said that any delay in publishing the report only serves to help Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

The report by parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) has been cleared by Britain’s security services but has not yet been approved for publication by Johnson’s office, meaning it will not be released before the election.

The ISC was examining allegations of Russian activity aimed at the UK, including in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, when Johnson was a leading light in Vote Leave’s campaign.

US intelligence agencies have accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party’s candidate in 2016, said earlier this week the failure to publish the report was “inexplicable and shameful”.

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According to a public inquiry in 2016, two Russians murdered Litvinenko by poisoning him with a radioactive isotope, polonium-210, in an operation probably ordered by Putin.


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