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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 September 2007, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Russia suspect running to be MP
Andrei Lugovoi
If elected, Andrei Lugovoi would be granted immunity from prosecution
A Russian businessman wanted in Britain on suspicion of murdering Alexander Litvinenko says he will stand for election to the Russian parliament.

Andrei Lugovoi denies any involvement in former Russian agent Mr Litvinenko's death from poisoning in London in November 2006.

He has said he will run for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) of the Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

If elected in December, Mr Lugovoi would get immunity from prosecution.

"I confirm LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's announcement that I have agreed to join the party's electoral list," Mr Lugovoi told Interfax agency on Sunday.

Strenuous denials

He said he profoundly respected Mr Zhirinovsky and his party.

Alexander Litvinenko
Mr Litvinenko died in a London hospital in November 2006

"But I will be ready to comment only after the party congress which I will attend," Mr Lugovoi added.

Mr Zhirinovsky announced on Saturday Mr Lugovoi would feature in second place on the LDPR list, offering him an eligible position if the party crosses the electoral threshold of 7% in parliamentary elections scheduled for 2 December, Russian media say.

Mr Litvinenko, a former intelligence official and a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who had taken refuge in Britain, was given a fatal dose of radioactive polonium-210 and died in London last November.

Britain has demanded the extradition of Mr Lugovoi, a former KGB agent, who attended a meeting with Mr Litvinenko on 1 November.

Russia has refused the demand and Mr Lugovoi has strenuously denied any involvement in Mr Litvinenko's death.

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