Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer

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.