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Russia formally rejects UK extradition request of Litvinenko poisoning suspect

[JURIST] Russian officials with the Office of the Prosecutor-General [official website, in Russian] have formally denied a British extradition request [JURIST report] for Andrei Lugovoy [JURIST news archive] on the grounds that the Russian constitution forbids the extradition of its citizens [MFA statement] for alleged crimes committed abroad, Interfax reported Thursday. Lugovoy is wanted [JURIST report] by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service for his alleged role in the poisoning-murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko [BBC profile; BBC timeline].

Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika has said he will try Lugovoy in Russian courts if presented with ample evidence of guilt. The Office of the Prosecutor-General has also dismissed suggestions [JURIST report] that Lugovoy could be extradited to the UK in exchange for alleged coup plotter Boris Berezovsky [JURIST news archive]. Litvinenko and Lugovoy, both former employees of the Russian state security agency, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation [official website, in Russian], met on November 1, 2006, hours before Litvinenko fell ill of radioactive poisoning from polonium-210 [CDC backgrounder]. Litvinenko died on November 26. AP has more. Interfax has additional coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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