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Putin Decorates Suspect In Litvinenko Killing

  • RFE/RL

Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a high state medal to Andrei Lugovoi, a lawmaker wanted by British police for alleged murder of former Russian spy Aleksandr Litvinenko in London.

A decree signed by Putin and published on an official website on March 9 said Lugovoi was awarded with the Medal "For Service to Fatherland" of the Second Degree for his contribution to the "development of Russian parliamentary system and active lawmaking activities."

In January, British counterterrorism police officer Craig Mascall said that Litvinenko's killing by a radioactive isotope in 2006 was under investigation and that Lugovoi and another Russian national, Dmitry Kovtun, were still wanted.

Russia has refused to extradite the two suspects, while the Kremlin has always denied involvement in Litvinenko's death.

In May 2014, Lugovoi, who is deputy chairman of the national security committee in Russia's lower parliament house, was an initiator of a law that made it a crime to hide dual citizenship.