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Diplomatic crisis looms over Litvinenko murder charge

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Diplomatic crisis looms over Litvinenko murder charge


The man charged by Britain with murdering poisoned Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko continues to maintain his innocence. Andrei Lugovoi says he is not guilty and insists he is just as much a victim in this affair, having been poisoned himself in London. He says he will not give himself up to the British authorities. With Russia insisting it cannot extradite him, London and Moscow look set to be on a diplomatic collision course.

As negotiations continue, a video, filmed a decade ago, showing Litvinenko and two other special agents accusing their bosses of forcing them to carry out contract killings, has been released. In it, one of the agents tells the journalist to only make the recording public if something happens to one of them. “I fear for my life, the life of my wife, my child,” a young Litvinenko is heard saying. “I know that once they deal with me, and with my family, they will not stop. And if these people are not stopped this lawlessness will flood the country.”

The Russian government has denied any involvement in the killing of Litvinenko by the highly-radioactive Polonium 210, but his wife has said she is sure the Kremlin was behind his death. Neither of the two other agents featured in the video have commented on its release.

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