Accused Murderer of Former Russian Spy Says The Brits Did It…Or Know Who Did

May 31, 2007 9:43am

The man who British authorities want to charge in the poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko robustly denied all allegations he was in any way responsible for the killing, and he offered several versions as to who may be the culprit. Andrei Lugovoi held a press conference in Moscow today to announce he believes British authorities are covering the tracks of the crime. He also alleged Litvinenko was recruited by British secret services to deliver compromising documents on Russian President Vladimir Putin and that they had also tried to recruit Lugovoi. Lugovoi said he believes the British secret service may be behind the murder. "If not by the [British] intelligence services themselves, then under their control or with their connivance," he said. Both Litvinenko and exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky were working for the British secret service, Lugovoi claimed. A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office told ABC News the case is a criminal matter, not an intelligence matter. "Our position is clear. Our request for the extradition of Mr. Lugovoi to face trial in a U.K. court has been handed over. We await the formal Russian response," she said. "A British citizen was killed in London, and U.K. citizens were put at risk." The Russians have indicated they will not extradite Lugovoi, and today’s presser will likely increase the already tense diplomatic relations between the countries. As first reported by ABC News earlier this year, police discovered a "hot" teapot at London’s Millennium Hotel with an off-the-charts reading for Polonium-210, the radioactive material used in the killing. Investigators concluded, based on forensic evidence and intelligence reports, the murder was a "state-sponsored" assassination orchestrated by Russian security services.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus