Lawyers have claimed there are "potential parallels" with the death of Litvinenkoby John Keenan / September 12, 2016 / Leave a comment
When 24-year-old chef Liam Walsh happened upon a dead body in a quiet street on the exclusive St George’s Hill estate in Weybridge, Surrey, in November 2012, he did what any millennial would do—he took out his mobile phone and made a short video clip.
Later, he told the Reuters news agency: “He wasn’t breathing. We had to get him on the back and start doing CPR. He was probably dead for a while.”
The dead man was a Ukrainian-born businessman called Alexander Perepilichnyy, and almost four years after his corpse was discovered the circumstances surrounding his death have become murkier and more disturbing.
Last week at Surrey coroner’s court in Woking, attempts to get at the truth were stymied once more. The inquest was postponed until next spring when the British government insisted that national security would be undermined if documents requested by the coroner, Richard Travers, were made public.
Travers said he had “no choice” but to delay proceedings because the government wanted to secure Public Interest Immunity status for sensitive documents related to the investigation into the Russian citizen’s death. Lawyers have alleged there are “potential parallels” between the deaths of Perepilichny and the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. In January this year a public enquiry in London concluded that Litvinenko died after being poisoned in an operation ordered by the Russian state.
Speaking after the latest delay to the Perepilichnyy inquest was announced, Litvinenko’s widow Marina told me she was disappointed that the British state had made the inquest process political.
She said: “I was offered support from British politicians from all sides but I always refused their involvement. I was very independent. I knew I had the right to know who killed my husband. But when William Hague said in 2013 that evidence had to be kept secret then I knew there had to be a public inquiry.”
The question is why would the British government now want to cover up the truth about how and why Perepilichnyy died?
An earlier pre-inquest hearing was told Perepilichnyy moved to Britain from Moscow in the wake of the global financial crash. His job had been to…