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Suspect in Litvinenko Murder Says Former Russian Intelligence Agent Worked as British Spy

The Russian suspect in the killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko maintains he is innocent and says Britain tried to recruit him to provide intelligence. Andrei Lugovoi spoke in Moscow for the first time since British prosecutors charged him with the crime, last week. Bill Gasperini has more from Moscow.

Andrei Lugovoi made a series of charges in the spy case, including that the British special services tried to recruit him.

Lugovoi says British intelligence wanted him to collect "compromising information" on Russian President Putin.

He says the man he is accused of killing, Alexander Litvinenko, worked for British intelligence.

Lugovoi spoke for more than an hour at a news conference, telling a tale of intrigue and blackmail that could have come from a spy novel.

He claims British intelligence may even have played a role in Litvinenko's murder - if only indirectly.

Last week, British prosecutors said they have enough evidence to charge Lugovoi with the killing of Litvinenko, who died of poisoning by the rare radioactive substance polonium-210.

Litvinenko lived in exile in London and was a fierce critic of President Putin.

Traces of polonium were later found in many places Lugovoi had visited on his way to and from London, where he met with Litvinenko in an upscale hotel.

Later that day, Litvinenko became ill. He died three weeks later in a London hospital.

Lugovoi also suggests exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky - another fierce Kremlin critic - might have been behind the killing. Many Russian officials have said Berezovsky masterminded the murder as a way to damage the Kremlin's reputation.

President Putin and other top Russian leaders have long denied any involvement in Litvinenko's killing.

Britain has asked Russia to extradite Lugovoi, to stand trial. Moscow rejects that, saying it would violate the Russian constitution.