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U.K. Asks Russia To Extradite Litvinenko Murder Suspect

Andrei Lugovoi in November last year (ITAR-TASS) May 28, 2007 -- Britain has asked Russia to extradite the man suspected of poisoning former Russian security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Britain's ambassador to Moscow, Anthony Brenton, told reporters in St. Petersburg today that he has handed Russian authorities an official request for the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi.

Litvinenko, a Kremlin critic who was granted asylum in Britain, died in London in November 2006 from radioactive poisoning.

Lugovoi, a former Russian security agent, had met with Litvinenko on the day Litvinenko fell ill but has denied any involvement in his death.

Russian officials have said Lugovoi will not be handed over, saying Russia's Constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens.

On his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind his poisoning. The Kremlin denies any involvement.

The case has added tension to Russia's relations with Britain.

(Interfax, Reuters, AFP)

Little Chance Of Extradition
Yury Kostanov, a veteran defense lawyer and former employee of the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office, discussed the legal aspects of the case. more
Film On Case At Cannes
On May 26, the Cannes Film Festival screened "Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case," a documentary by Andrei Nekrasov, a friend of Litvinenko. more

The Kremlin's Fallen Foes

The Kremlin's Fallen Foes

Mourners in Moscow mark the 40th day after the killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovsksya on November 15 (TASS)

DANGEROUS DISSENT. A surprising number of vocal critics of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin have been killed or have died mysteriously in recent years. Although the Russian government has denied any involvement in any of the cases, some Kremlin watchers have begun speaking of a clandestine campaign to eliminate dissent.

April 17, 2003: Sergei Yushenkov, veteran liberal politician, Duma member, and leader of a staunchly anti-Kremlin party, is shot dead in Moscow.

July 3, 2003: Yury Shchekochikhin , liberal lawmaker and investigative journalist, dies of a mysterious allergic reaction. Many believe it was a case of deliberate poisoning, but the incident was never investigated as a murder.

February 13, 2004: Former acting Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev is killed in an explosion in Doha, Qatar. Two Russian security-service agents are later convicted of carrying out the killing.

September 2, 2004: Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya falls ill mysteriously on a plane bound for the North Caucasus. Politkovskaya was heading to Beslan, North Ossetia, in a bid to negotiate the release of schoolchildren being held hostage there by Chechen militants.

December 2004: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko , running for president as a pro-Western candidate against Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, is poisoned. He recovers and goes on to win the presidency, although his poisoning remains a mystery.

October 7, 2006: Investigative journalist and vocal critic of Russian policies in the North Caucasus Anna Politkovskaya is gunned down in Moscow.

November 23, 2006: Former Federal Security Service agent Aleksandr Litvinenko, a vocal critic of Russia's secret services, dies of a mysterious poisoning in London.


An annotated timeline of high-profile killings in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


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