Father of polonium-poisoned Kremlin critic denounces son as a “British spy”

MALMO, Sweden — The father of Alexander Litvinenko, the renegade Russian intelligence officer who died in 2006 after imbibing a massive dose of radioactive polonium, has denounced his son as a “traitor” and said he no longer blamed the Russian authorities for his death. 

Valter Litvinenko, who has vociferously attacked Russia’s FSB intelligence service for his son’s murder, said he no longer blamed them.

“He might as well have been killed by Russian secret services. They had a right to do it because traitors are to be killed,” he said. “Back then I was convinced he was not a traitor, but I am not so sure now.”

“If I knew back then that my son worked for the MI6, I would not speculate about his death. It would be none of my business,” he said.

British police concluded in 2007 that Litvinenko’s death had been a “'state-sponsored' assassination orchestrated by Russian security services,” issuing an extradition request for Andrei Lugovoi, a former FSB agent.

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British police found high levels of radiation in a teapot at London's Millennium Hotel, where Litvinenko had met Lugovoi, and traces of polonium in all three hotels where Lugovoi had stayed.

Valter Litvinenko said he now found that story unconvincing.

“The FSB wouldn’t send some dumbhead to spill polonium on himself, to leave traces all over my son,” he said. “It’s strange to think that Lugovoi would be such an idiot.”

Valter Litvinenko, whose wife died last year, said he was keen to return to Russia from Italy where he has been living in exile since 2008. 

"I want to go home. Russian people … no one needs us here,” he told Russia’s Channel One. "Forgive me, my motherland. And help me return to my land, help an old man," he said.

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