The man accused of murdering Alexander Litvinenko says he has been set up by Britain’s secret services.
At a press conference in Moscow, businessman Andrei Lugovoi said that shortly before his death, Litvinenko had been trying to blackmail his own protector, exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, and that this was a possible motive for the killing.
He said he knew that both Litvinenko and Berezovsky worked for M16 because they had tried to recruit him themselves.
“They wanted me to collect compromising information concerning President Putin and his family,” Lugovoi told the conference, saying they also organised a racket to provide political asylum in Britain for rich businessmen.
Lugovoi met with Litvinenko in a London hotel in November last year, shortly before Litvinenko went down with a fatal dose of polonium-210.
Lugovoi said that traces of the poison found in various places he had visited were planted. He said he was a businessman with no motive for carrying out the crime.