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Dec. 07, 2006
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Litvinenko Witness Questioned
Investigators from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office questioned businessman and former special services agent Dmitry Kovtun yesterday as a witness in the poisoning death of political emigrant Alexander Litvinenko in the presence of members of Scotland Yard. The questioning took place in the hospital where Kovtun is being examined for radiation effects.
The interrogation took place in the format established by Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika: questioning was carried out by Russian prosecutors, with the British simply observing. Neither the prosecutor's office, not Scotland Yard nor Kovtun himself, who is a resident of Germany, would speak in detail about the questioning. The Scotland Yard representatives were initially dissatisfied with their observer status, but they agreed to it after consulting with superiors in London.

Businessman Andrey Lugovoi was also expected to be questioned yesterday, but his representative, lawyer Andrey Romashev, said that Lugovoi could not be questioned because of technical delays. We hope that [the questioning] will take place tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. So far, law enforcement representatives have not informed us of a date or time, he added.

Lugovoi and Kovtun met with Litvinenko on November 1 in the Millennium Mayflower Hotel in London. Litvinenko is assumed to have been poisoned with Polonium-210 on that day. British police think that the traces of radiation found on British Airways planes that flew between London and Moscow were left by Lugovoi. Traces of radiation were also found at Emirates Stadium in London, where Lugovoi watch the soccer match between Arsenal and CSKA with his family and friends on November 1, and in the British embassy in Moscow, where Lugovoi met with British diplomats on November 24. Lugovoi flew to London three times in October and early November and met with Litvinenko at least three times, according to Scotland Yard information.

The American ABC television network, citing a source in Scotland Yard, reports that Lugovoi is considered the main suspect in the case. However, as Romashev pointed out to Kommersant, Without being questioned as a witness, Lugovoi cannot be placed in the ranks of a suspect.


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All the Article in Russian as of Dec. 07, 2006

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