Ex-KGB agent, wanted for murder in Britain, to run for mayor

Lugovoy

Lugovoy

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
Andrey Lugovoy, who is wanted in Britain for the 2006 murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, is poised to run for mayor in the Russian city of Sochi. British authorities believe that Lugovoy, who served in the KGB and in Russia’s Federal Protective Service (FSO) from 1987 to 1996, carried out the radioactive poisoning of Litvinenko, a former intelligence officer who had defected to the UK. Litvinenko, who was a vocal critic of former Russian President Vladimir Putin, came down with radioactive poisoning soon after meeting Lugovoy in a London restaurant. The latter is believed by British authorities to have acted “with the backing of the Russian state”. A victory by Lugovoy in next month’s mayoral race could potentially pose a diplomatic challenge for London, as Sochi will be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. If he wins, therefore, the prime murder suspect will be expected to lead local officials in “welcoming the British team to the Games”. Britain’s Daily Telegraph notes that such a possibility could ultimately “lead to the first ever British boycott of an Olympic Games”. It also cites a press release by Alexander Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, who has vowed to “personally go from country to country urging people not to go to an event hosted by a murderer”. In 2007, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service gave the Kremlin a formal extradition request for Andrey Lugovoy. But Moscow refused to comply, arguing that the former KGB agent, who by that time had been elected to the Russian Duma, enjoyed automatic immunity from prosecution because of his Deputy status. It also claimed that Lugovoy had been framed by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). In October 2007, British newspaper The Daily Mail suggested that Lugovoy was in fact an MI6 informant who was paid approximately £2,000 per month by British intelligence. The British Foreign Office and the British Embassy in Moscow have declined to comment on Lugovoy’s mayoral ambitions.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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