One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s henchmen accused of poisoning a former spy who turned on the leader apparently plans to mock Britain with a TV show called “Traitors.”
Alexander Litvinenko, who had turned on his former KGB colleague Putin, died three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium-210 at a London hotel in November 2006. The cause of death was acute radiation syndrome, and his rapid decline touched off a frantic effort to find out if anyone else in the British capital was exposed to the deadly toxin.
A report released Thursday by U.K. Judge Robert Owen named Russian politicians Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun as the suspects who carried out the poisoning. Both returned to Russia.
Lugovoi, who has a show in Russia called “Traitors”, said the latest batch of episodes will focus on Russian spies who have gone on to work for U.K. intelligence agencies – and their fates, The Telegraph reports.
"That's what the series producers wanted me to focus on this time,” Lugovoi said, when asked if the theme was intentional following the report into Litvinenko’s death.
In a 2014 interview, Lugovoi said the program was about “the essence of treachery.
"You've had your fair share of traitors working for the USSR and Russia. As long as there is confrontation between our countries there will always be traitors,” he had said at the time, according to The Telegraph.
The report also said there is a "strong possibility" that Russia's FSB security service, the successor agency to the notorious KGB, directed the killing. And the rubout would not have occurred without the likely approval of not only then-FSB head Nikolai Patrushev, but also Putin himself, the report stated.
On Thursday, Lugovoi blasted the report, saying that it was “nonsense conclusions of [a] judge who has clearly gone mad.
"I saw nothing new there. I am very sorry that 10 years on nothing new has been presented, only invention, supposition, rumors,” he told the BBC. "And the fact that such words as 'possibly' and 'probably' were used in the report, means there is no proof, nothing concrete against us."
Lugovoi said there was no chance of him coming to Britain to face their courts.
"You know, it's more likely that the moon will become part of the Earth, than that I will be extradited from Russia - it's just impossible,” he said.
Putin even rewarded Lugovoi last year with a medal for "services to the motherland," recognizing "courage and bravery displayed in the performance of his professional duty under conditions fraught with risk for his life."
Moscow has long denied a role in the murder of Litvinenko, who "had repeatedly targeted President Putin" with "highly personal" public criticism and charges of corruption, the report noted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.