UK's Russian Spy Poisoning Case

Courtesy of CNN: Story Highlights
  • Russian prosecutors say they will refuse to extradite Andrei Lugovoi
  • Ex-KGB agent charged with murder of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko
  • Litvinenko died in London after being poisoned with radioactive Polonium-210
  • He blamed President Putin for his poisoning -- an allegation the Kremlin denied
"Russian prosecutors say they will refuse to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, charged by Britain in the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko, to London because of a constitutional ban.
Earlier Tuesday British officials said they wanted to bring Lugovoi before a British court and charge him with the 'extraordinarily grave crime' of murdering Litvinenko in London last November.

'I have today concluded that the evidence sent to us by the police is sufficient to charge Andrei Lugovoi with the murder of Mr. Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning,' Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald said in London.

Litvinenko, who was a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and had been granted political asylum in the UK, died in a London hospital last November, several weeks after he was poisoned with polonium-210."

Having read the Russian constitution for my government and politics in Russia class, I think this is all a show to protect Lugovoi. The Russian constitution grants the executive with large sweeping powers and if Putin approved of the extradiction nobody would be hiding behind the constitution. Also Russia and the UK are both signers of the European convention on mutual legal assistance which should allow the UK to prosecute a Russian citizen who commits a crime on their territory. Interesting, I wonder how this will pan out.