Suspect in Litvinenko murder wins parliament seat

ALEXEY SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images Last week, I thought one of the few good things about United Russia’s dominance in the Russian parliamentary elections might be that the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party would be shut out of the Duma. Parties needed to win 7 percent of the vote to be represented. Turns out the LDPR snuck in ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
597847_071203_lugovoi_05.jpg
597847_071203_lugovoi_05.jpg

ALEXEY SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, I thought one of the few good things about United Russia's dominance in the Russian parliamentary elections might be that the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party would be shut out of the Duma. Parties needed to win 7 percent of the vote to be represented. Turns out the LDPR snuck in with 8.4 percent of the vote, just enough to win a seat for Andrei Lugovoi, prime suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in November, 2006. Along with his Duma seat, Lugovoi will now enjoy immunity from prosecution in the Russian Federation. Litvinenko's widow Marina was apoplectic:

Now Mr Putin and Mr Lugovoi stand together as the emblem of Russia — the two people linked by a murder," she said in a written statement. 

ALEXEY SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, I thought one of the few good things about United Russia’s dominance in the Russian parliamentary elections might be that the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party would be shut out of the Duma. Parties needed to win 7 percent of the vote to be represented. Turns out the LDPR snuck in with 8.4 percent of the vote, just enough to win a seat for Andrei Lugovoi, prime suspect in the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in November, 2006. Along with his Duma seat, Lugovoi will now enjoy immunity from prosecution in the Russian Federation. Litvinenko’s widow Marina was apoplectic:

Now Mr Putin and Mr Lugovoi stand together as the emblem of Russia — the two people linked by a murder,” she said in a written statement. 

For what it’s worth, British prosecutors say they have no plans to drop charges against Lugovoi.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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