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Russian official limits police in poison case

Published Dec. 6, 2006

Russia will not permit extradition of any suspect sought by British police investigating the London poisoning of a former Russian spy, Russia's top prosecutor said Tuesday.

Only a day after Russian authorities pledged to cooperate with Britain's investigation into the Nov. 23 death of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika also said Russia will take charge of all witness interrogations while Scotland Yard detectives are in Moscow.

Doctors say Litvinenko, 43, was poisoned with polonium-210, a radioactive isotope. Before he died, he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, who dismissed the accusation.

British police arrived in Moscow on Monday. Several people Litvinenko met before falling ill are from Moscow.