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Monday, September 17, 2007

Russian Election

The "Liberal Democratic Party"(three lies for the price of one) has announced that the prime suspect in the Alexander Litvinenko polonium assassination case, Andrei Lugovoy, will run for office next year:
The man accused of murdering Alexander Litvinenko looks certain to enter Russia’s Parliament after announcing his candidacy for an ultra-nationalist party yesterday.

Andrei Lugovoy said that he had been placed second on the electoral list for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) in elections that take place in December.

The nomination virtually guarantees him a place in the Duma and immunity from prosecution in Russia.

President Putin has refused to extradite the former KGB security guard to stand trial in Britain, citing a constitutional ban.

However, prosecutors had said that a trial was possible in Russia if the Crown Prosecution Service provided sufficient evidence.

That prospect looks nonexistent now, since it requires a special vote of the Duma to lift a deputy’s immunity.

Any request from prosecutors for a vote would give Mr Lugovoy ample advanced warning of his arrest.

The LDPR is led by the eccentric nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who described Mr Lugovoy yesterday as a victim of British intelligence.

His antics in the Duma, which have included fist fights, have earned Mr Zhirinovsky a reputation as a clownish figure but he supports Mr Putin and he would not have nominated Mr Lugovoy without the knowledge of the Kremlin.

The stunt is certain to worsen relations between Moscow and London, which remain deeply strained after Gordon Brown ordered the expulsion of four Russian diplomats in July over Mr Putin’s refusal to cooperate. Russia retaliated by expelling four British envoys.

The Crown Prosecution Service named Mr Lugovoy, a millionaire businessman, in May as the prime suspect in the murder of Mr Litvinenko, a dissident former security service agent and a vocal critic of Mr Putin.
(Recent post on the LDPR)

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