Monday, November 27, 2006


Mr Litvinenko was a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Three people have been sent to a special clinic for radiological tests following the death of the Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko.
The 43-year-old's death last week has been linked to the discovery of radioactive polonium-210 in his body.
The three had contact with either the London hotel or the sushi bar which he visited on 1 November and have been referred as a precautionary measure.
Home Secretary John Reid is due to make an emergency statement in the Commons.
He told BBC News: "This is a precautionary measure, it's reassurance, and we're trying to do this in as open a fashion but as organised and calm a fashion as possible."
Anyone at Itsu or the Pine Bar on 1 November should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647
They will be asked a series of questions and may then be asked to take a urine test.

Mr Reid earlier chaired Tuesday's meeting of the special emergency "Cobra" committee, which brings together ministers, officials and experts, to assess the risk.
The Health Protection Agency said more than 450 people had called a government hotline, with 18 passed on to them.
Three were referred to a special clinic because they had symptoms which may indicate radiation poisoning.
It is thought they contacted the NHS helpline and answered detailed questions about their condition before referred for the face-to-face consultation and possibly a urine test. Results are expected later in the week.
An inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death will be held on Thursday.
The hearing will be opened then adjourned at St Pancras Coroner's Court, said a Camden Council spokesman.

The restaurant is being decontaminated
Mr Litvinenko, 43, became a British citizen after coming to live in the UK.
Friends have suggested Russian top-level involvement in his death because Mr Litvinenko was a critic of Russia President Vladimir Putin.
And on Sunday Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said "murky murders" cast a shadow over Putin's achievements.
But the Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed allegations of involvement in the poisoning as "sheer nonsense".
Asked about Mr Hain's comments, the prime minister's official spokesman said Mr Blair had made clear his concerns about some aspects of human rights in Russia but this case required caution.
"There is a police investigation ongoing and we have to await the outcome of that investigation," he said.

"Therefore, I think it is premature to be drawing any conclusions at this stage."
Mr Blair had not spoken to Mr Putin about the death but Foreign Office officials had met the Russian ambassador to ask for co-operation with the inquiry.
Mr Litvinenko had been investigating the murder of a prominent Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, before he fell fatally ill.
Radioactive traces were found at the Itsu restaurant in Piccadilly and the Millennium Hotel's Pine Bar, both visited by the Russian ex-spy on 1 November. Decontamination work has begun.


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