At least at a cursory first glance, Judge Owen has produced a well-reasoned, detailed report on the Litvinenko murder. That’s what one expects from an experienced British judge: the nation can still rely on its judiciary in spite of its occasionally disastrous errors. As the distinguished historian Robert Service noted, “One thing the inquiry shows is the autonomy of the judicial process.” Top people in Moscow probably lack the imagination to comprehend this autonomy.
Sir Robert Owen’s report, the outcome of a public inquiry, should carry far more weight that merely the UK cabinet’s opinion. But – unsurprisingly – no action is being taken by the UK government aside from freezing Lugovoy’s non-existent UK assets. These days, Syria must be closer to Westminster than Mayfair:
We have quite important other fish to fry with the Russians. They are very important in carrying the Iran de-nuclearisation through, they are absolutely crucial in sorting out the mess in Syria.