KGB Radiation Poisoning Suspect Ready to Talk

Lugovoi offers to meet with UK investigators
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2008 9:31 AM CST
Andrei Lugovoi, a key figure in the investigation into the fatal poisoning of former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko, speaks to the media in Moscow, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008.    (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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(Newser) – A former KGB agent accused of poisoning a Russian dissident in England wants to clear his name, he tells the Times of London. Alexander Lugovoi has offered to send a friend to London to speak with investigators, and may travel to the UK himself if officials pledge not to arrest him or turn his friend over to the German authorities seeking to extradite him.

Lugovoi and his friend Dmitri Kovtun met with ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko several times before Litvinenko fell ill and died of radiation poisoning in 2006, but Lugovoi says he was framed by British intelligence agencies. Extradition experts say Britain would be powerless to block an extradition request for Kovtun. A close friend of Litvinenko said the offer is a PR stunt, “because they know that their bluff will not be called.”