Russia has opened criminal case opened in ex-spy's death - prosecutor general's

Other News Materials 7 December 2006 17:23 (UTC +04:00)

(AP) - Russia has opened a criminal case in the poisoning death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko, the Prosecutor General's office said Thursday.

The move would allow suspects to be prosecuted in Russia. Officials previously have said that Russia would not allow the extradition of any suspects in the killing of Litvinenko, who died in London on Nov. 23.

The Prosecutor General's office also said it had opened a criminal investigation into the attempted killing of Dmitry Kovtun, one of at least two Russian businessmen who met Litvinenko in London's Millennium Hotel on Nov. 1, hours before the former spy fell fatally ill, reports Trend.

Interfax news agency reported that British and Russian investigators on Tuesday and Wednesday interrogated Kovtun.

Kovtun and an associate, Andrei Lugovoi, have told the Russian media they went to London as part of a group of Moscow soccer fans, and met briefly with their exiled countryman to discuss business matters. Later, they attended a soccer game between CSKA Moscow and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in north London.

Both men have told reporters in Moscow that someone is trying to frame them in Litvinenko's death.