Poisoning Suspect Runs for Parliament to Dodge Jail

He could win immunity for radiation death
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 6:45 AM CDT
Poisoning Suspect Runs for Parliament to Dodge Jail
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at his meeting with activists of pro-Kremlin youth organizations in Zavidovo, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Moscow, Tuesday, July 24, 2007. President Vladimir Putin angrily dismissed British demands for the extradition of the sole suspect in the...   (Associated Press)

The Russian businessman accused of using radioactive polonium-210 to poison a critic of controversial President Vladimir Putin is trying to dodge prosecution by running for parliament, the London Times reports. The Kremlin has already refused to hand Andrei Lugovoi over to British officials, saying it would violate the Russian constitution. But if Lugovoi becomes a member of the Duma, he would also be immune to domestic prosecution.

Lugovoi has the second slot in a slate of candidates who will be seated if the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia wins in December. British officials believe Lugovoi  exposed Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko to lethal levels of polonium-210 in London, leading to a painful death. Lugovoi is expected to win votes from those who see him as a hero who killed a traitor. (More Russia stories.)

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