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28.11.2006

Russian ex-spy's autopsy scheduled for Dec.1 - TV

LONDON, November 28 (RIA Novosti) - The post-mortem and forensic examination of Russian ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko's body are scheduled for December 1, British TV channel Sky News said Tuesday.

Litvinenko, a Russian intelligence defector, died Thursday in a London hospital with symptoms of radioactive poisoning. British health officials said Friday a significant dose of polonium-210, a toxic radioactive by-product of uranium, had been found in his body.

The post-mortem examination would normally have been carried out on an earlier date, but was postponed due to the discovery of radiation.

A spokeswoman for the UK Health Protection Agency said doctors are estimating possible risks in carrying out the forensic examination, in order to take appropriate precautions.

Refuting media allegations that the Po-210 found in the ex-spy's body could have come from Russia, nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko said earlier the country has not supplied polonium-210 to Britain since 2001. He said Russia exports only eight grams of Po-210 each month, and produces it under strict controls.

"I do not believe the version that someone stole polonium-210 from a Russian plant," he said, adding that it would be almost impossible to ascertain how the radioactive isotope appeared in Britain.

The nuclear chief also said polonium could be produced in any nuclear reactor with a bismuth block.

British police said earlier on Tuesday they had also found traces of Po-210 radiation in an office building of Litvinenko's associate, fugitive Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.


Source:  http://en.rian.ru

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