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UK rejects foreign trial for Litvinenko poisoning suspect

[JURIST] The UK Prime Minister's Office [official website] on Wednesday formally rejected any possible proposal to try Andrei Lugovoy [JURIST news archive] for the poisoning-murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko [BBC profile; BBC timeline] in a foreign court or on foreign soil. Spokesperson for the prime minister, Michael Ellam, clarified his earlier statement [press briefing] that "we want the trial to be in a British Court," adding in the afternoon that the British government wants the trial to be also on British soil.

On Monday, the UK expelled four Russian diplomats [JURIST report] and suspended visa facilitation negotiations with Russia, blaming "Russia's failure to cooperate" to find a compromise regarding Britain's extradition request [JURIST report] for Lugovoy. Russian authorities have insisted that Lugovoy cannot be extradited because the Russian constitution forbids the extradition of its citizens for alleged crimes committed abroad [MFA statement; JURIST report], and have offered instead to try Lugovoy in Russian courts if the UK presents evidence of guilt. AP has more.

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