Legal support in international prosecution and extradition.

en-GB ru-RU

Britain & Russia

Extraditional relations in the case of suspects in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

A successful politician and a businessman, Andrei Lugovoi, and his less famous friend, Dmitry Kovtun, became the most discussed persons in the Russian and European mass media back in 2006. The reason for this was the request of the Great Britain for their extradition related to accusations of murdering a Russian critic and ex-agent of FSS (FSB) Aleksandr Litvinenko. On 23 November 2006 Litvinenko died in a London hospital from acute heart failure. His body had not been examined by the coroners for a long period due to the danger of radiation, though eventually the cause of death was announced – poisoning of the radioactive element, polonium-210.

During the investigation initiated by the Scotland Yard, it was determined that Litvinenko was poisoned by the Russian entrepreneur Andrei Lugovoi. Together with his accomplice Kovtun he was the last whom Litvinenko saw before death. Scotland Yard sent the extradition request to get them to London for further investigation, but the Russian authorities denied it. According to the report of Sir Robert Owen, when the British investigators arrived in Moscow for interrogating the suspects, the Russian law enforcement agencies were trying in different ways to hinder the investigation. When the British investigators followed in their own car the Russian ones, the latter used to suddenly speed up or make abrupt turns, so that the Brits would not be able to keep up with them. The Russian investigators also said that only one British investigator can interrogate Lugovoi and Kovtun and only in presence of their Russian colleagues. As a result, when the British policemen came back home they found out that the recording of Kovtun was corrected, and the recoding with Lugovoi was not transferred to them by their Russian colleagues. Though it is not possible to be hundred percent sure that all of it was done on purpose, considering the general misunderstandings between the Russians and the Brits. It should also not be a surprise that Russia denied extraditing the suspect to Britain, as the UK declined numerous requests of the Russian authorities, including the case of Berezovsky.

The most peculiar and suspicious thing is the career boost of Andrei Lugovoi at the pick of the investigation in 2006. Vladimir Zhirinovsky invited him to be the second candidate in the election list of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. In the end of 2013 Lugovoi initiated the law which allows to block internet resources if they are suspected in spreading information of extremist nature. In 2015 Lugovoi was awarded with the Order of Merit for the Motherland. The question arises: what was the reason of such a sudden career improvement of the main suspect in the murder of Litvinenko? Rumors had it that Andrei Lugovoi is supported by the President, Vladimir Putin, and it was explicitly proved by the award. It is also proved by the fact that Alexandr Litvinenko was openly criticizing the current political powers and was writing many articles about the past of the President. Whether his words were true is known only to Putin, but there is a possibility that he took care of his past life being erased from all possible sources.

Liability waiver

All information provided on the the Legal Status International Collegium’s website is intended solely for informational purposes, it is not and should not be considered as legal advice or recommendation and does not create a lawyer-client relationship between the site visitor and the Collegium. More details...

International Secretariat

A. Smetonos g. 5, Vilnius 01115, Lithuania (by appointment only)

+370 521 41684

WhatsApp, Telegram:
+48 571 060 077