The Litvinenko Inquiry – Confirmation and denials.

Day 2 – 28th January  How easy is it to actually kill someone anonymously?  I leaned into that question, albeit in a somewhat glib manner, with the post Not in front of the children. I ask it now because many commenting on the Litvinenko Inquiry have questioned why a would-be assassin might employ such a bizarre…

The Litvinenko Inquiry – Day 1

Day 1 – 27th January The Litvinenko Inquiry that started today in London’s Royal Courts of Justice is expected to take nine weeks and be complete before Easter. There will be many who will wish it could take longer.  Sir Robert Owen, Chairman of the inquiry, said he will “make public the final conclusion on…

Not in front of the children

The public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko starts tomorrow in the Royal Courts of Justice in London (details here).  Litvinenko was a former KGB officer, openly critical of Vladimir Putin and reportedly in the pay of MI6. He was allegedly murdered by two Russian nationals, Andrei Lugovoy and Dimitri Kovtun, both of whom…

Je suis inquiet

The attacks in Paris on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket reignited the debate about freedom of speech and tolerance for the beliefs of others.  One issue that received less attention is how far an open society should surrender freedoms it values highly in the name of security. An illuminating exchange took place on BBC…

Morals and dilemmas

As introductions go, Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati’s takes some beating.  Described by his media consultant as “the person with the worst job in global politics”, Iraq’s minister for human rights carries his burden with grace.  Mr Bayati, 52, an ethnic Turkmen, is a former foe of Saddam Hussein and still carries the physical scars of his…