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September 16, 2007

Litvinenko murder suspect running for MP

Litvinenko murder suspect running for MP

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Andrei Lugovoi, one of the main suspects in the murder case of Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, is to run as a MP in the Russian elections on 2 December. If he is elected, Lugovoi will be immune from prosecution. This is worrying for the British government, who want to arrest Lugovoi.

Lugovoi is to be a candidate for the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. The LDPR currently has 35 of the 446 in the Duma, the lower house in the Russian parliament. The leader of the LDPR, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said, “I head the list (for the December 2 parliamentary elections), the fraction’s leader will be third… Our second will be Andrei Lugovoi – he has suffered, been targeted by British special services.”

Lugovoi is wanted by the British, as he is the main suspect in the Litvinenko case. A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Litvinenko had taken refuge in Britain and was murdered after he was fed the radioactive substance polonium-210. Lugovoi, a former KGB agent, met Litvinenko on November 1, 2006. The British want Lugovoi extradited but the Russians refuse, denying Lugovoi has had anything to do with murdering Litvinenko.



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July 19, 2007

Russia expels four UK diplomats

Russia expels four UK diplomats – Wikinews, the free news source

Russia expels four UK diplomats

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

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UK Foreign Secretary David Milliband.
Image: Alan Heckman.

Russia has today expelled four UK diplomats in the ever escalating row over the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi, the chief suspect in the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned with Polonium 210 in London, November 2006.

This move comes three days after the UK expelled four Russian diplomats. Russia says that the UK officials must leave within ten days and that they will review all visa applications for UK officials.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he was “disappointed” by the “completely unjustified move”. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he thought both countries could settle the “mini-crisis”.

Related news

  • “United Kingdom expels four Russian diplomats” — Wikinews, July 16, 2007

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May 31, 2007

Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer

Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

The conveyor style of food delivery at an Itsu restaurant like the one Litvinenko ate at the day he was poisoned.
Image: Justin (flickr).

Andrei Lugovoi, the man who British authorities say poisoned and killed a ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, a radioactive isotope, says that the British government tried to recruit him to be a spy and that Litvinenko was working as a spy for British intelligence. He also claims that the British government is connected with the murder of Litvinenko and that he “has evidence” to prove his claims, but did not state what the evidence might be.

According to Lugovoi, who spoke to reporters during a press conference in Moscow, the British government wanted him to collect personal information that related to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

“[I was] openly recruited as the British security service agent. They asked me to collect any…compromising information about [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and the members of his family,” said Lugovoi.

Lugovoi also stated that Litvinenko and a Russian tycoon named Boris Berezovsky were also working for the British government saying “Litvinenko became an agent who left the control of (British) special services and was killed. In the words of Sasha himself, first he was recruited and afterwards, on his advice, Boris Abramovich gave to the British some security council documents [from Russia] and also became an MI6 agent.”

Lugovoi also told the press that he had no motive to commit the murder and that Litvinenko was not an enemy of his.

“Sacha [Litvinenko] was not my enemy. I didn’t feel cold or hot from whatever he was doing, from the books that he was writing. I’ve been in business for a long time and I was not really interested. [Litvinenko was killed] If not by the British intelligence services themselves, then under their control or with their connivance,” added Lugovoi.

So far, British officials denied to comment on the claims saying that the incident is a matter for the criminal system.

“This is a criminal matter and not an issue about intelligence. A request for extradition for Mr. Lugovoi to face trial in a UK court has been handed over. We await the formal Russian response,” said the Foreign Office of the U.K..

Litvinenko died on November 23, 2006, due to complications from his Polonium-210 poisoning.

Related news

  • “Murder charge to be brought in Litvinenko death” — Wikinews, May 22, 2007

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May 22, 2007

Murder charge to be brought in Litvinenko death

Murder charge to be brought in Litvinenko death

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The United Kingdom Crown Prosecution Service has announced that it has sufficient evidence that a former FSB (formerly KGB) officer should be charged with the murder last year of Alexander Litvinenko.

Andrey Lugovoy is charged with the murder of Mr Litvinenko, by the administration of the highly radioactive Polonium-210 in a hotel in Mayfair, London, on 1st November 2006. Mr Litvinenko, 43, died of radiation sickness in University College Hospital on 23rd November. The case received considerable publicity at the time, with pictures of Litvinenko in hospital and showing the effects of the radiation poisoning.

Litvinenko was himself a former Russian FSB agent and was a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He had tried to publish a book in Russia describing Putin’s rise to power as having been organised by the KGB. He was forced to flee from Russia and had lived for some time in London, being granted British Citizenship in October 2006.

He continued his dissent throughout the remainder of his life, culminating in a posthumous statement published on 24th November 2006 alleging that Putin was responsible for his death.

Investigation and charge

Cquote1.svg I have today concluded that the evidence sent to us by the police is sufficient to charge Andrey Lugovoy with the murder of Mr Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning Cquote2.svg

—Sir Ken Macdonald, CPS

Litvinenko’s murder led to a lengthy investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service and additional specialist police forces following a trail of sites which had been contaminated with radiation, leading eventually to Moscow. A file of evidence was sent in January 2007 to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration as to whether any criminal charges might be brought.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, in announcing the decision to prosecute, said: “Prosecutors from CPS Counter Terrorism Division have carefully considered the material contained in that police file. They have also asked the police to carry out further inquiries, which are now complete. And, finally, they have consulted with me.”

“I have today concluded that the evidence sent to us by the police is sufficient to charge Andrey Lugovoy with the murder of Mr Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning. I have further concluded that a prosecution of this case would clearly be in the public interest.”

“In those circumstances, I have instructed CPS lawyers to take immediate steps to seek the early extradition of Andrey Lugovoy from Russia to the United Kingdom, so that he may be charged with murder – and be brought swiftly before a court in London to be prosecuted for this extraordinarily grave crime.”

Extradition unlikely

The announcement followed the summoning of the Russian Ambassador to London to the Foreign Office to be told by Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett that she expected that the Russian authorities would co-operate fully with Britain to arrange the extradition of Mr Lugovoi to stand trial in London. However there are indications from Moscow that the extradition of Lugovoi, who denies any involvement in the murder, is unlikely to happen. Marina Gridneva, spokeswoman for the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that “under Russian law, a citizen of the Russian Federation cannot be handed over to a foreign country”.

There is no bilateral extradition treaty between Russia and the UK. Legislation passed by Russia to deal with individual requests from countries in Europe rules out the extradition of its citizens, even to the extent that when in 1966 it became a signatory to the European convention on extradition, it granted itself an exemption from such a course.

However it has been reported that such a ban on extradition would not necessarily prevent Lugovoi being tried in Russia using evidence from the UK.

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Alexander Litvinenko poisoning
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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