Sparring in Litvinenko inquiry

Russia says British uncooperative


MOSCOW (Reuters) Russian prosecutors investigating the poisoning in Britain of former Russia Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko have accused British officials of failing to cooperate.


Britain is investigating Litvinenko's death, but Russia has launched a parallel criminal inquiry and has asked for clearance to interview dozens of people in London, including Russian emigres wanted for trial in Moscow.


Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev said requests for British cooperation had been slowed down by officials from Scotland Yard, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office. "Unfortunately, too much time is being taken up with technical and procedural questions, and I hope they can be resolved faster," Zvyagintsev said in an interview with Izvestia.


Russia sent a group of detectives to London earlier this year and another team could soon go again, he said.


But Zvaygintsev said Russia had not been given the same level of cooperation as British detectives received when they traveled to Moscow last year. "When last year the English asked us to let them come here we did not insist on the observation of some of the formalities ... Do we not have the right to expect similar cooperation?" he said.