The Litvinenko inquiry
利特维年科案的调查

Murder most mystifying
扑朔迷离的谋杀案

Truth, perhaps, about a Kremlin hit-job—but little prospect of justice
也许会揭开克里姆林宫特工职务的真相,但取回公道的希望一片渺茫

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AN OBSCURE refugee from Russia when he died in London in 2006, Alexander Litvinenko became famous only after his death. The former security policeman mixed with murky figures. He had received an allowance from a fugitive Russian tycoon, Boris Berezovsky. He was advising Britain's Secret Intelligence Service in an Anglo-Spanish operation which investigated links between Russian gangsterdom and the Kremlin's inner circle. He had made lurid allegations about Vladimir Putin's private life and about the way the Russian leader had gained power. Any of those could have a bearing on his agonising fate—poisoning with polonium.

来英寻求政治避难的俄国特工亚历山大·利特维年科一直是名不见经传。他于2006年在伦敦去世后,才成为众人皆知的人物。利特维曾是原俄罗斯联邦安全局的一名特工,与几大阴暗人物打过交道。他曾收受俄罗斯逃亡寡头别列佐夫斯基的补助,为参与英西联合行动的英国秘密情报局出谋划策,此次行动旨在调查俄罗斯黑社会与克里姆林宫核心集团之间的关联。他曾指控费拉基米尔·普京的私人生活,以及俄罗斯领导人的集权方式,可谓是骇人听闻。无论哪种行为,都可能与他悲苦的命运—死于钋中毒—有所关联。

Mr Litvinenko's widow Marina has fought a dogged, dignified and cash-strapped battle for a public inquiry into the case. The government blocked this, citing unspecified national-security concerns. But it flip-flopped in July 2014 as Britain's relations with Russia iced over. The inquiry began this week. Mrs Litvinenko's lawyer spoke of an “act of nuclear terrorism” on London's streets.

为了让英国政府公开调查此案件,利特维年科的遗孀玛丽娜在资金不足的情况下坚持四处奔走,不卑不亢。政府当局以未指明的国家安全为理由对其加以阻挠。但是,2014年6月份,由于英俄关系不断僵化,英国政府对此事的态度突然好转,并于本周开始展开调查。利特维年科夫人的律师提到伦敦街道发生的“核恐怖主义行为”。

Some evidence will be heard in secret: it may involve Mr Litvinenko's ties with Britain's spooks, but the most vital bit is thought to be an intercept of a Russian official communication, obtained by America and shared with Britain, showing that the Kremlin knew and approved of the murder plot. Officials decline to comment on that.

有些证据将会得到秘密听审,可能包括利特维年科与英国特工之间的往来联系,但据认为,至关重要的证据是美国窃听俄罗斯某家官方通信机构并与英国分享的通信信息。窃听信息表明,克里姆林宫知晓并准许了这起策划谋杀案。政府官员表示不对此作出评论。

Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, whom Britain's authorities named as the assassins, are in Moscow; they insist they are innocent and will not be taking part.

英国当局将安德烈·卢戈沃伊和德米特里·科夫通两人列为暗杀嫌疑犯。他们现在莫斯科,并坚持称自己与此案无关,不会参与案件的调查。