British police want to question more witnesses in Moscow

Police helmetBritish police have submitted a request to the Russian Prosecutor General to return to Moscow and interview more people in relation to the death of Alexander Litvinenko.  The request comes (not at all co-incidentally, I’m sure!) just one day after Russian police submitted a request to the Home Office to visit London and interview more than 100 people:

“Literally yesterday, a new international investigative request from Great Britain arrived containing a request seeking permission for a group of British investigators probing the Litvinenko case to come to Moscow,” said Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.  

“I do not rule out that after the trip by our representatives to London, we will again receive our colleagues here.”

I’m sure the British police were hoping to return to Moscow at some stage, to conduct follow-up interviews, but the Russian request to visit London must have proved a god-send fior them.  Previously, Moscow could have gotten away with sniffily rejecting a British request to visit Moscow for a second time, by complaining that they should have interviewed everyone they wanted on their first visit.  Now, though, the British police have had a golden opportunity to bring forward their request and the Russian police will find themselves looking a bit foolish if they turn down the British police’s new request.   

Still, it’s all a bit depressing really.  The whole investigation is beginning to be run along the lines of strict reciprocity, rather than in a spirit of true co-operation, and a genuine attempt to solve a crime. 

Oh, for the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War.  True – nobody co-operated back then then, either, but at least people had the class to pretend they were co-operating, and to come up with some slightly more creative explanations as to why the other side were obstructing them.   

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