Talks continue over Litvinenko murder

Diplomatic negotiations are continuing between the UK and Russia in an attempt to secure the extradition of a former KGB officer accused of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

On Tuesday, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it has enough evidence to charge Andrey Lugovoy with the murder of Mr Litvinenko.

Sir Ken McDonald, the UK's director of public prosecution, recommended that Mr Lugovoy should be extradited from Russia so that he can be charged with murder in the UK.

Speaking to the Russian-owned Itar-Tass news agency on Tuesday, Mr Lugovoy said that the charges against him were "politically motivated" and insisted that he had nothing to do with Mr Litvinenko's death.

The Russian state prosecutor has also said that Russian citizens could not be extradited to a foreign country, but could be tried in a domestic court, with evidence supplied by the foreign country.

The UK is expected to make the formal submission of its extradition request before the end of the week.

Meanwhile, it has been reported on Sky News that a video in which Alexander Litvinenko is seen with other former KGB officers claiming that their bosses had ordered them to carry out the murders of high-profile Russians, including exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, has been released.

It is understood that the video, believed to have been recorded in a guesthouse outside Moscow in 1998, contains footage of Mr Litvinenko expressing fears for the safety of his wife and child.

Mr Litvinenko died last November in London after being poisoned with a fatal dose of the radioactive substance polonium 210.

A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, Mr Litvinenko was granted political asylum in the UK in 2000.

He fell ill on November 1 and died in University College Hospital in London on November 23.

Suspicion had surrounded Mr Lugovoy and another Russian - Dmitri Kovtun - who met with Mr Litvinenko at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair on the day he fell ill.

Mr Kovtun has also denied any involvement in Mr Litvinenko's death.


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