An inquest into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is likely to examine claims that he was murdered on Kremlin orders.
Litvinenko, a Kremlin critic who had been granted British citizenship, died from polonium poisoning in 2006 after having tea with two Russians at a hotel in London.
For his widow, a preliminary inquest hearing in the capital on Thursday was a major step forward.
“I would like to say I’m very grateful it has happened and I believe we will get justice and finally we will know the truth,” Marina Litvinenko said.
“Any truth, whatever it is going to be, is important for us; for me, for my family, for my friends, for this country and for everybody.”
It has been revealed that possible links between Litvinenko and British intelligence agencies will be kept secret during the inquest, which is set to begin next year.
Britain’s prime suspect in connection with
Litvinenko’s death is former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoy, who has since been elected as a Russian MP.
He denies being involved and Russia has refused to extradite him.