'Murdered Russian spy Litvinenko was a traitor'



`Murdered Russian spy Litvinenko was a traitor` Moscow: The father of the Kremlin critic, Alexander Litvinenko, who died of radiation poisoning condemned his son as a traitor and asked Russia for forgiveness in a television interview on Thursday.

"I ask you to forgive me, my motherland, forgive me for God's sake!" Valter Litvinenko told state-controlled Channel One in an interview conducted at his home in Italy.

"When it turned out that he was an MI6 agent, it was a disgrace to me, to all of our family," he said, describing his son as "a traitor”.

During his often tearful interview, Valter Litvinenko, 73, said reports in British media that his son was working for British intelligence were "like a switch going on in my head”.

Alexander Litvinenko, 43, a former FSB officer, died in hospital after drinking tea laced with polonium at a London hotel in November 2006, pointing the blame at the Kremlin. His death sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russia and Britain.

Litvinenko's widow told the BBC Russian Service last year that her husband had worked as a consultant on organised crime for the British secret services.

His elderly father was shown wrapped up in winter clothes in his Italian apartment in the small town of Montemarciano, complaining that his electricity had been cut off and saying he wanted to move back to Russia.

Valter Litvinenko also gave an interview to Kremlin-funded English-language television channel RT, where he was shown praying to icons in his apartment and talking of his wife's recent death.

PTI