A key U.K. judicial body has ruled that Britain must reconsider holding a public inquiry into the polonium poisoning death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.
A Tuesday ruling by the High Court of Justice in London requires British Home Secretary Theresa May to re-examine her justification for preventing an open investigation of the 2006 incident, Reuters reports. The former KGB officer died after drinking tea tainted with radioactive polonium 210.
May last year blocked a request for such a public probe from Robert Owen, a coroner who led a closed-door look at circumstances surrounding the death.
“If she is to maintain her refusal [to hold an open inquiry], she will need better reasons than those given in the decision letter,” Lord Justice Stephen Richards said in a statement for a three-judge panel. The group unanimously backed the finding, though it issued no direct demand for a public probe.
“The case for setting up an immediate statutory inquiry as requested by the coroner is plainly a strong one,” the three judges added.
An open investigation could implicate Russia in the death, creating potential for political and economic fallout from any findings, according to Reuters. Moscow maintains it was not involved.
Last year, May said political considerations had played a role in her decision not to go forward with an open investigation. She added, though, that those factors were not decisive.
The High Court of Justice said there are “strong reasons of public interest” for the United Kingdom to examine allegations of Russian collusion in the death.
The British Home Office indicated it is reviewing the court’s finding.
Marina Litvinenko, the KGB veteran’s widow who initiated the push for an open probe, said she was happy to learn about Tuesday’s decision.
“This was the murder of a British citizen on the streets of London using radioactive poison. You would have thought that the government would want to get to the bottom of who was behind it,” she said.
What We're Following See More »
"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.
Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”
Investigations are never far from the Clintons, and here's another: At the behest of "dozens" of Republican lawmakers, the IRS is opening a fraud investigation into the Clinton Foundation."The move signals a shift from the IRS's announcement last year that it would not look into allegations of financial irregularities at the well-connected charity."
"Bickering commissioners, ineffective managers and lousy internal communication rank among the top reasons why the Federal Election Commission" has some of the worst morale in the federal government. That's the conclusion of an inspector general's report, which put "the most blame on the FEC’s six commissioners: three Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees who have regularly criticized one another and frequently (but not exclusively) deadlocked on high-profile political issues before them."
On Tuesday, Dennis Williams, the president of the United Auto Workers, said that Hillary Clinton has told him that she will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement if elected president. Trade deals, especially NAFTA, have played a prominent role in the campaign, with Clinton receiving heat both from her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and GOP nominee Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign did not comment on Williams's comments, though that didn't stop the Trump campaign from weighing in. Hillary Clinton "will never renegotiate Bill Clinton's NAFTA," said Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser to Trump.