Litvinenko suspect turns to Addleshaws for libel defence

Addleshaw Goddard has given preliminary advice on defamation to Andrei Lugovoi, the former KGB operative named by the UK Government as the chief suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

Lugovoi approached Addleshaws for advice in relation to potential remedies for the defamation he feels he suffered at the hands of the media.

David Engel, a commercial litigation partner specialising in defamation, is advising Lugovoi. A spokesman for the firm said no defamation proceedings have been issued.

“No other legal steps have been taken at this time,” added the spokesman.

Last month the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) formally accused Lugovoi of deliberately poisoning Litvinenko, a critic of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, with the radioactive agent polonium-210.

The CPS said there was enough evidence to charge Russian businessman Lugovoi with the murder.

The announcement, and the formal request for the extradition of Lugovoi, came six months after former security service agent Litvinenko died from radiation poisoning in a London hospital on 23 November last year.

Lugovoi met Litvinenko in a London hotel on 1 November, the day the former KGB agent was taken ill.

Lugovoi denies any involvement in the murder and went as far as to allege that MI6 was in fact involved in the murder.