UK Demands Extradition in Spy Poisoning

Moscow balks as focus of Litvinenko case turns to fellow ex-KGB agent
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2007 8:47 AM CDT
Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB officer speaks to the media in Moscow, in this Friday, Nov. 24, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – The poisoning death of spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko was the work of another ex-KGB operative, the British government says, and it wants the accused charged and extradited. But Moscow refuses to deliver him, the BBC reports, saying that would violate the Russian constitution. Litvinenko was a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin, whom he accused on his deathbed of ordering his murder.

Andrei Lugovoi, the focus of the UK investigation, denies involvement. The investigation has strained already difficult relations between the UK and Russia, which don't appear to be warming. A spokesman responded to the government recommendation by saying the Kremlin is waiting for the "British side to actually do something rather than make statements."