The man wanted by Britain over the murder of former KBG agent Alexander Litvinenko says he has been set up by the British intelligence service. At a news 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 MI6 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 claims the murder could not have been carried out without the knowledge of British secret services. “We lost a lot of time which allowed the British to unleash their dogs and make me out to be the scapegoat,” he said. Lugovoi met 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 and that he had no motive for carrying out the crime. British authorities say the case is a criminal rather than an intelligence matter.