Theresa May, the home secretary told parliament on Tuesday a public inquiry will now replace the ongoing inquest in the murder of Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, in 2006.
The 43-year-old spy fled to Britain in 2000 but was allegedly poisoned by radioactive polonium — 210 at a hotel in London in 2006. His wife and friends have always believed that the Russian state ordered the killing.
Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB bodyguard, and Dmitri Kovtun have been identified as the prime suspects.
Mr Litvinenko's wife Marina welcomed the move and said that "no matter how strong and powerful you are" justice will be done.
The widow also warned her husband's killers that the "truth will win out".
May told the House of Commons, "I am announcing today the government's decision to establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 to investigate the death of Mr Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006. The inquiry will be established by the Home Office. The inquiry will be chaired by Sir Robert Owen, a senior judge who is the current Coroner in the Inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death."
The inquiry's Terms of Reference said, "the Chairman is to conduct an investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko in order to ascertain who the deceased was; how, when and where he came by his death and identify where responsibility for the death lies".
Mrs Litvinenko said, "I am relieved and delighted with this decision. It sends a message to Sasha's murderer. It has taken nearly eight years to bring those culpable for Sasha's murder to justice."
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