Grumblings from the East
News that British agents are close to fingering ex-KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi for the radioactive poisoning murder of Alexander Litvinenko is setting the stage for a major diplomatic incident if Lugovoi can be traced to the Kremlin. The seriousness of the issue is being masked by the media’s focus on events in Iraq, but it could be a make or break issue this year for an inexperienced new Prime Minister Gorden Brown. With Russia’s centralization of the energy industry as a weapon for Putin’s foreign policy, Europe is once again looking nervously at Russian Bear, drunk on it’s own growing mafia opulence.
Ex-spy dismisses Litvinenko probe
Andrei Lugovoi, the focus of the UK probe into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, has laughed off reports London may soon seek his extradition.
He told the BBC he had not read the Guardian report saying Scotland Yard had allegedly collected enough evidence for him to stand trial in the UK. The former KGB officer has persistently denied any involvement in the murder. Mr Litvinenko died on 23 November in London after taking a fatal dose of the radioactive isotope polonium-210.
The latest allegations to emerge from London have prompted Mr Lugovoi to speak once again to the media after weeks of silence. But he had little to say, refusing to comment on the possibility of being extradited to Britain or that he could be swapped with the London-based Russian exile Boris Berezovsky, a leading opponent of President Vladimir Putin.