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British Judge Opens Inquiry Into Death Of Former Spy Litvinenko

A British judge has opened an inquiry into the death of former Russian spy Aleksandr Litvinenko, saying the central question is to learn whether the Russian government ordered the killing.

Judge Robert Owen formally opened the inquiry at the High Court in London on July 31 but warned that some parts of the proceedings would likely remain secret.

"Her Majesty's government holds some documents that are relevant to Mr. Litvinenko's death but are of such sensitivity that they cannot be used in open court," Owen said.

Litvinenko died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with Polonium-210 at a London hotel.

British police have previously named two Russians as suspects.

Litvinenko's widow Marina was present for the opening of the inquiry and said she was satisfied that now "everybody all around the world will know the truth."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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