The Russian spy who was accused of killing Alexander Litvinenko has been given a major role in the investigation into Alexei Navalny’s poisoning.
Andrei Lugovoy, 54, is high up in Moscow’s Security and Anti-Corruption committee which has been tasked with probing the latest poison attack on an anti-Kremlin figure.
Vladimir Putin‘s ally previously worked as a KGB ally and is still wanted by British authorities over Litvinenko’s poisoning with radioactive polonium-210 in 2006, but Russia have denied his extradition.
Navalny, a prominent Putin critic, left his Berlin hospital for the first time this week after being poisoned with Novichok, the same substance used in the Salisbury attack in 2018.
The dissident politician fell ill while on a flight in Russia, spending a total of 18 days in a coma.
It was initially suggested by Navalny’s friends that he was poisoned with a cup of tea that he drank at Tomsk airport shortly before boarding the flight where he fell ill.
But his political allies now believe the agent was slipped into a water bottle he drank from at a hotel.
The 44-year-old revealed that he is still in rehabilitation and is learning basic skills such as balancing, catching, throwing and writing following the attempt on his life, which has been blamed on the Russian state.
The Kremlin continues to deny involvement in the poison plot, and has requested evidence from Germany to support its conclusion of Novichok poisoning.
Putin is under pressure to launch an investigation into the attack, and Lugovoy will be a key figure in the probe, according to The Mirror.
British authorities found that Luogovoy met with Litvinenko (pictured in hospital), a defected Russian spy who had been critical of the state and accused Putin of murder, on the day he was poisoned
But he has already claimed Navalny’s poisoning was directed by Western intelligence services, and the investigation is likely to be a sham.
A UK security source said Lugovoy’s involvement deliberately shows an ‘arrogant disregard for the West’.
They added: ‘It also acts as a threat, displaying a brutal readiness to resort to very cruel violence and murder.’
British authorities found that Luogovoy met with Litvinenko, a defected Russian spy who had been critical of the state and accused Putin of murder, on the day he was poisoned.
The Kremlin continues to deny involvement in Navalny’s poison plot, and has requested evidence from Germany to support its conclusion of Novichok
Lugovoy had met with the former FSB secret service officer at least four times in the month before the attack.
Traces of the deadly polonium-210 were found in each of the hotel room that Lugovoy had stayed in, in the restaurant he dined in, and on two planes he travelled on.
Lugovoy was then treated at a Moscow hospital for suspected radiation poisoning after his return to Russia.
Meanwhile Litvinenko died three weeks after his attack.