Litvinenko murder suspect running for MP

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.