Government to pay £4m Russia spy inquest bill

The Government has agreed to fund the inquest into the death of former KGB officer, Alexander Litvinenko after a petition from the Deputy Inner North London Coroner.

In June, EastLondonLines reported that a request for central funding was made by Coronor Dr Shirley Radcliffe on behalf of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Islington and Camden Councils.

The announcement is welcome news to the authorities who were in line to cover the spiralling costs of the inquiry, estimated to be as high as £4m.

Although Litvinenko lived in Barnet at the time, deaths at University College Hospital (UCH), in Camden fall within the jurisdiction for the St Pancras Coroners Court, which is funded by the four London boroughs.

The Russian died of suspected Polonium poisoning in 2006 at University College Hospital. It is believed that he consumed the poison while meeting other former KGB colleagues.

Despite the decision, there is still uncertainty about the eventual cost of the inquiry, which could become one of the most expensive in UK history.





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