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TV show hires Litvinenko suspect

A Russian production company has hired a man charged with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko as a consultant on a TV series about the mysterious death.

The former KGB agent died in London in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210.

The two Russian men who had met Mr Litvinenko for tea were identified as prime suspects and one of them, Andrei Lugovoi, was charged with murder. But Moscow refused to extradite him.

The studio, Central Partnership, said that Mr Lugovoi has been hired to share his memories of the meeting and consult the screenwriter and the director of the miniseries.

An inquest into Mr Litvinenko's death stalled over authorities' reluctance to disclose secret intelligence evidence. But a public inquiry into the death was announced in July.

Central Partnership quoted Mr Lugovoi as saying he chose a Russian company after being approached by foreign studios he did not trust.

"I made a conscious decision to turn down all of them because I understood that none of them were able to tell this Russian story truthfully because of a different mentality," he said.

Lawyers for Mr Litvinenko's family said he was working for MI6 at the time of his death.

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