Alexander Litvinenko murder suspect advising on Russian TV spy series

Andrei Lugovoi attending a congress of the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) in Moscow in a file photo taken on Sept 17, 2007. A Russian production studio has hired Lugovoi, a former security agent wanted by Britain as the c
Andrei Lugovoi attending a congress of the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) in Moscow in a file photo taken on Sept 17, 2007. A Russian production studio has hired Lugovoi, a former security agent wanted by Britain as the chief suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, as a consultant on a new TV spy series. -- PHOTO:. AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian production studio has hired Andrei Lugovoi, the former security agent wanted by Britain as the chief suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, as a consultant on a new TV spy series.

Central Partnership production company said Tuesday that filming had begun on a series about officers in the FSB security service, which will be "based on real-life event", with Lugovoi acting as an advisor.

Above the Law, an eight-part series to be shown next year on the pro-Kremlin NTV channel, will be "set against the backdrop of the birth of a new Russia", the company said.

"I always wanted to take part in a creative project," Lugovoi was quoted as saying, adding that he will be "sharing his memories about the events in which I participated".

In the film, a former security officer accused in 2001 of kidnapping and working for "traitors of national interests" tries to clear his name, according to the synopsis posted on the company's website.

Lugovoi said he refused to talk about "London events and the polonium scandal", however, so the scriptwriters had to base their work on "interviews and publications".

Litvinenko, himself a former KGB agent, was poisoned by highly radioactive polonium which is believed to have been administered to him in a cup of tea at a London hotel in 2006.

British police have named Lugovoi as the chief suspect, and also want to question another former secret agent, Dmitry Kovtun.

Russia has repeatedly refused British requests for Lugovoi to be extradited to face questioning over the case.

Russia also refused to participate in a British public inquiry into the Litvinenko death launched in July, most of which is being heard in secret.

The TV series includes fictional versions of real-life characters including businessman Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged at his home in Britain in 2013.

Lugovoi, a nationalist lawmaker, has taken a more prominent role in the Russian parliament this year, introducing several hardline bills toughening security ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics and expanding the powers of the FSB security agency.

Earlier this year he presented a television series on Soviet spies who became double agents, called Traitors.