Litvinenko widow given 48 hours to appeal over public inquiry

Seven years after Alexander Litvinenko's death, a full inquest has yet to take place. (Litvinenko Justice Foundation)

Marina Litvinenko wept as she told how she could be faced with a bill for at least £40,000 and lose “almost everything” if she continued a legal battle with the UK Government. (Litvinenko Justice Foundation)


The widow of poisoned ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko has 48 hours to decide whether to continue to fight for a public inquiry into her husband’s death. Marina Litvinenko wants to challenge the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry by applying for a judicial review.

However, on Thursday, three judges at London’s High Court refused to protect Mrs Litvinenko from potentially high legal costs if she loses the case.

Nima Green reports for VoR.

In November 2006, Marina’s husband, Alexander Litvinenko was killed after being poisoned with radioactive polonium at the Millennium Hotel in central London.

British police have sought the arrest of two Russian nationals in relation to the death but it is still not clear exactly what happened.

Seven years later and Mrs Litvinenko has been dealt a major legal setback in her long-running bid to find the truth.

She is seeking to bring a legal challenge against British Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision in July not to hold a public inquiry.

However, yesterday, three judges at London’s High Court refused to grant her a Protected Costs Order, which means that if she loses her challenge, she will face crippling legal costs of at least £40,000.

Marina now has until Monday 7th October to decide whether it is worth risking financial ruin and continue to push for a judicial review into the government’s decision.

Outside of court, Marina Litvinenko made an emotional appeal to the British public for money to help finance her bid to find out “the truth”, through the Litvinenko Justice Foundation.


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