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British Prosecutors May Explain Hold Up in Litvinenko Inquiry

British prosecutors' demand that British investigators unearth more information before prosecutors proceed with the case of dead security services agent Alexander Litvinenko may explain why Russian authorities have been barred from coming to London.

The Crown Prosecution Service has requested that London police fill in unspecified holes in the police report on the Nov. 23 poisoning death of Litvinenko in London, a Scotland Yard spokesman said Friday.

While the spokesman said the CPS request was not holding up Russian investigators' request to conduct their investigation, he did add: "Our investigation has to be the priority."

The spokesman commented on the condition of anonymity.

Russian authorities, who have started their own investigation into the death of the former KGB and Federal Security Services agent, have expressed frustration with British authorities for not giving them the green light to travel to Britain.

Deputy prosecutor general, ­Alexander Zyvagintsev, said last week that Moscow had waived some legal formalities for British investigators when they traveled to Moscow in ­December. He urged London to ­reciprocate.

"Whenever we receive requests from other countries, we ensure all due processes are carried out," the Scotland Yard spokesman said. "Its the way we do business." He added that there were "legal implications" for not ­doing things by the book.

Russian authorities traveled to London last month to discuss the inquiry and their request to work in Britain. They are believed to want to meet with self-exiled magnate and former Litvinenko associate Boris Berezovsky, and others.

Litvinenko's son, Alexander, 22, received a call from Litvinenko three weeks before he was poisoned, Izvestia reported Friday. "I have big problems," Litvinenko told his son. "I have to find work, preferably in another country."

(The Moscow Times 19.iii.07)

 
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