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Extradition Demanded in Litvinenko Poisoning

May 25, 2007 12:00 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Britain charges ex-KGB agent Lugovoi with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who died of radiation poisoning in November, 2006; the U.K.'s Attorney General insists Lugovoi be tried in Britain.

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November 1, 2006––Litvinenko met Russian associates at the Millennium Hotel, London. Fellow ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi was one of the men present. Soon after that meeting, Litvinenko fell ill. He was suffering from radiation poisoning after ingesting a rare isotope, polonium 210. He died on November 23.

On May 22, 2007 the British authorities charged Lugovoi with Litvinenko’s murder.

Litvinenko was a Russian exile and journalist granted asylum in Britain. He was an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Litvinenko claimed Putin had staged terrorist bombings to raise support for Russia’s war in the satellite republic of Chechnya.

The Kremlin has ridiculed suggestions that it was behind Litvinenko's death. Those accusing the Russian government of foul play point to the fact that Litveninko is only the latest in a string of Putin critics to die under mysterious circumstances.

A recent report from the International News Safety Institute stated that Russia was second only to Iraq in terms of journalist mortality.
 
Now, on May 25, 2007 Britain's attorney general has informed his Russian counterpart that Lugovoi must face trial in Britain.

Russia insists that such an extradition would be unconstitutional. Russia's prosecutor general said, "If our specialists recognize Britain's suspicions concerning Lugovoi as substantiated, he will be tried by a Russian court."

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