Russian politician wanted for murder of Alexander Litvinenko marries student half his age 'who didn't know about the killing' Andrei Lugovoy, 46, wed in a lavish ceremony to 23-year-old student Xenia Lugovoy is the chief suspect in the murder of Mr Litvinenko He said his bride had 'never heard' of the murdered agent
20:52 GMT, 25 April 2013
02:40 GMT, 26 April 2013
The Russian politician wanted for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko has married in a lavish ceremony to a young bride who had 'never heard' of the dead former KGB agent.
Wedding pictures, published in the Russian edition of Heat magazine, show a smiling Andrei Lugovoy, 46, dressed in a white suit next to his beaming bride, 23-year-old student Xenia.
According to British authorities Lugovoy – a former KGB agent – is the chief suspect in the murder of Mr Litvinenko, a critic of President Putin who worked for MI6 and Spanish secret services.
Wedding pictures, published in the Russian edition of Heat magazine, show a smiling Andrei Lugovoy, 46, dressed in a white suit next to his beaming bride, 26-year-old student Xenia
Mr Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.
Lugovoy, the alleged poisoner, is now an ultra-nationalist politician in the Russian State Duma. It has been reported he and his wife – half his age – met in a shop.
The over-the-top festivities took place in the celebrated Abrau-Durso winery located in the picturesque resort town of Gelenzhik on the Black Sea.
The Times reports that the festivities stretched over several days, with the couple changing outfits, from traditional Cossack outfits to football kits.
Mr Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair
According to British authorities Lugovoy is the chief suspect in the murder of Mr Litvinenko – a critic of President Putin who worked for MI6 and Spanish secret services
There were ice sculptures, singing and fireworks, and Russian vodka, it is said.
The nuptials have remained a secret since the ceremony took place in October.
In the Heat interview, Mr Lugovoy said his wife had no idea who he was when they met.
It was only when she saw him on a television programme, taking a polygraph test to deny involvement in the Litvinenko murder, that he said she expressed 'surprise'.
He said: 'It turns out she had never heard about this (Litvinenko) story. It was a long time ago and not many people remember it, basically just the politicians with whom I associate. She was of course very surprised.'
He added that he met his wife in a shop while buying his 'own products', a habit he has formed because he does not 'trust anyone else.'
Attempts to extradite Lugovoy to the UK have been rejected by the Russians.
He is accused of poisoning Mr Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 at a London hotel in 2006, and says the results of the polygraph test he took in Russia earlier this year prove he was not involved.
The Crown Prosecution Service has named Mr Lugovoi as the prime suspect in the case and is seeking his extradition to the UK to face trial.
But the former Russian intelligence officer has refused to surrender himself to British justice and has agreed only to provide video evidence to the inquest next year.
He has asked his lawyers to challenge rules which prevent lie-detector evidence being admitted in court because it is considered unreliable.
It has been claimed that Lugovoy and another former KGB agent, Dmitry Kovtun, poisoned Mr Litvinenko at the Millennium Hotel in London's Grosvenor Square.
Moscow has so far refused to co-operate with Mr Litvinenko's inquest or extradite Lugovo