As Duma Deputy, Lugovoi Still Faces Charges

British prosecutors will not drop charges against Andrei Lugovoi for the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko after Lugovoi, a former security services officer, was elected Sunday to the State Duma.

"As far as we are concerned this changes nothing,'' the British Embassy in Moscow said in a statement Monday. "Lugovoi remains wanted in the U.K. in connection with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.''

Litvinenko, a critic of President Vladimir Putin who went into exile in London and became a British citizen, died in November 2006 after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210.

British prosecutors asked Russia in May to extradite Lugovoi to face trial for the murder. The Prosecutor General's Office refused, citing a constitutional ban on extradition.

Lugovoi was elected Sunday on the ticket of the Liberal Democratic Party. He is not required to take up his seat, but deputies enjoy immunity from prosecution.

Lugovoi told Gazeta.ru on Sunday evening that he was not sure what the focus of his work in the Duma would be, but proposed, "issues of security, problems of small and mid-size business," and other areas where he has "considerable experience."

Bloomberg, MT