Lugovoy won't be extradited to UK

Russia has rejected a request by the United Kingdom to extradite Andrey Lugovoy, the man Britain suspects was involved in the murder of former special services officer, Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Russian prosecutors have forwarded an official document to London, formally refusing Britain's request to extradite Mr Lugovoy to the United Kingdom. But British officials say that so far they have not received the documents.  

According to the Russian law it is forbidden to extradite Russian citizens to foreign states.

In May, Britain accused Mr Lugovoy of involvement in the murder of Aleksandr Litivinenko, who died in London last November.

Mr Lugovoy has issued a statement about Russia's refusal to extradite him to Britain. He promised to co-operate with Russian prosecutors if they decide to look into his possible connections with the Litvinenko case.   

“This issue should be examined according to the constitution.  Although whenever I was asked whether or not they would hand me over, I did not refer to the constitution. I always said I was innocent and had no connection to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, and I suggested and still suggest that Britain looks into the archives of MI6 and the prosecutor's office. I think if they really are honest there in England and in parliament, then they should have carried out research a long time ago and discovered who and what this agent is, and how much money he got for this,” Mr Lugovoy said.

He added he is ready do answer any additional questions Russian prosecutors might ask him.

“I do not rule out the possibility that the Russian general prosecutor's office might request some additional materials. I can't imagine what these materials are, but if this happens then my lawyers and I are ready for this. I always said that I have co-operated, I am co-operating and I will co-operate with Russian law enforcement agencies especially if it affects state security,” he stated.

Britain in turn has announced that Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky who was an associate of Livinenko should not be charged with any criminal offences. Mr Berezovsky was granted political asylum in the UK after fleeing prosecution in Russia on fraud and money laundering charges – and ever since has used Britain as a platform for political campaigning.

An interview to the Guardian newspaper in April this year became another attack on the current Russian leadership. In an article headlined ‘I am plotting a new Russian Revolution’ he called for an overthrow of the Russian government and acknowledged he was funding the opposition in Russia. But the Crown Prosecution Service concluded the evidence was insufficient for a realistic prosecution.

“Inciting terrorism overseas is a very serious crime and can carry life imprisonment. If we had believed we could overcome a defence likely to be put forward by Mr Berezovsky, our decision might have been very different,” stated Susan Hemming, head of the CPS counter terrorism division.

Meanwhile Vyacheslav Zharko, the man who asked the FSB for protection because of his connection to Aleksandr Litvinenko, says he fears for his life.

In an exclusive interview with Russia Today, Mr Zharko claims he's been working for Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6, and has important information about the Litvinenko investigation.