“We know nothing about why these applications are being made. We are dancing in the dark,” Emmerson said, adding that the PII request was “extraordinarily broad.”
He told the coroner: “It is beginning to look like you are being steamrollered by two states acting in collaboration with each other.”
Owen responded: “You can rest assured I am not being steamrollered from either direction.”
Alex Goldfarb, Litvinenko’s close friend, said it was not surprising that the government wanted to keep a lid on the inquest.
“HMG [Her Majesty’s government] is worried about fallout with Putin; MI6 is worried about its agent being killed by polonium; the Russians are worried about being caught red-handed; Putin is concerned about being called a mafia boss,” Goldfarb said.