CPS announces decision on Alexander Litvinenko case
22 May 2007
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, has announced that the Crown Prosecution Service has made its decision in the Alexander Litvinenko case.
Sir Ken said: "On 23 November 2006 Mr Litvinenko died in a London hospital of acute radiation injury. He was found to have ingested a lethal dose of Polonium 210, a highly radioactive material. During his difficult, fatal illness and following his death, the Metropolitan Police Service in London conducted a careful investigation into how this had happened.
"Among the people of interest to police in this inquiry was a Russian citizen named Andrey Lugovoy.
"In late January 2007 the police sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service so that we could make a decision about whether criminal charges should be brought against anyone who might have been involved in these events.
"Prosecutors from CPS Counter Terrorism Division have carefully considered the material contained in that police file. They have also asked the police to carry out further inquiries, which are now complete. And, finally, they have consulted with me.
"I have today concluded that the evidence sent to us by the police is sufficient to charge Andrey Lugovoy with the murder of Mr Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning.
"I have further concluded that a prosecution of this case would clearly be in the public interest.
"In those circumstances, I have instructed CPS lawyers to take immediate steps to seek the early extradition of Andrey Lugovoy from Russia to the United Kingdom, so that he may be charged with murder - and be brought swiftly before a court in London to be prosecuted for this extraordinarily grave crime."
Notes to Editors
1. The full charge is as follows: Andrey Lugovoy, on the 23rd day of November 2006, murdered Alexander Litvinenko.
2. The UK and Russia are parties to the European Convention on Extradition 1957. For an explanation of extradition, please see our legal guidance on Extradition on this website.
3. On 15 November 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation between the two agencies. The Memorandum is available on this website.
4. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.