Murdered ex-Russian spy Litvinenko was on MI6 payrollNovember 14th, 2007 - 2:55 am ICT by admin
The disclosure, by diplomatic and intelligence sources, is the latest twist in the Litvinenko affair, which has plunged relations between London and Moscow to their lowest since the Cold War.
On the day of the poisoning, November 1, 2006, Litvinenko a former KGB agent met prime suspect Andrei Lugovoy at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London.
Lugovoy claims that Litvinenko tried to recruit him to supply information to MI6.
Lugovoy, a businessman and a former KGB agent, also alleged that his ex-colleague asked him to find candidates for political asylum in Britain.
According to British media reports, Lugovoy left Britain for Russia soon after, and has never returned.
Litvinenko had defected to Britain in 2000 and was granted political asylum the following year with his wife Marina, 44, and son Anatoly, 12.
Sir John McLeod Scarlett, the incumbent chief of MI6, who served a stint in Moscow, recruited Litvinenko to the Secret Intelligence Service.
An exhaustive Scotland Yard investigation later, the Crown Prosecution Service called for Lugovoy’s extradition to stand trial for Litvinenko’s ‘deliberate poisoning’ at the Old Bailey earlier this year, but the Kremlin refused the request in July.
While Lugovoy has admitted meeting Litvinenko, a former lieutenant colonel in the FSB, the re-styled KGB, several times in the months before his death, he has said he was being made a scapegoat for the death of his former colleague.
He has said he believed MI6 was involved in the murder because agents had been unhappy at the way Litvinenko boasted of his links to them.
Elsewhere, Litvinenko’s wife has dismissed the claim as ‘nonsense’ and also denied that her late husband was working for the MI6, reports the Mirror.
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Tags: anatoly, colleague, crown prosecution service, grosvenor square, intelligence sources, john mcleod, kgb agent, kremlin, litvinenko, mi6, millennium hotel, moscow, old bailey, political asylum, prime suspect, russian spy, secret intelligence service