UK renews call for extradition of Litvinenko poisoning death suspect

[JURIST] UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] Friday rejected a Russian offer to try the suspected murderer of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko [BBC profile; BBC timeline; JURIST news archive] in its own courts, calling for Andrei Lugovoy's extradition to the United Kingdom. The Russian government has refused to turn Lugovoy over to the UK, saying that the Russian constitution forbids it, but Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said he will try Lugovoy in Russian courts if presented with ample evidence of guilt. Goldsmith said that the murder of a UK citizen on UK soil should be tried where the evidence is.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CRS) [official website] found sufficient evidence to charge [press release; JURIST report] Lugovoy with murder on Tuesday. Litvinenko and Lugovoy, both former employees of the Russian state security agency, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) [official website, in Russian], met on November 1, 2006, hours before Litvinenko fell ill of radioactive poisoning from polonium-210 [CDC backgrounder]. Litvinenko died on November 26. Reuters has more. AP has additional coverage.



 

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