Europe

Litvinenko case: Russian MP Lugovoi earns over £400,000

Andrei Lugovoi - 2013 pic Image copyright AFP
Image caption Andrei Lugovoi - wanted in the UK - is now protected by the Russian state

One of the suspected killers of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, earned £400,400 as a Russian MP last year and has six properties, his official income declaration says.

Mr Lugovoi and an associate, Dmitry Kovtun, deny the British charge that they poisoned Litvinenko in London with radioactive polonium in 2006.

Mr Lugovoi's stated 2014 income was 30.5m roubles (£400,400; $603,000).

Most Russian MPs' earnings were in the 3-5m rouble range.

Mr Lugovoi was elected to the Duma - the Russian parliament's lower house - in 2007 and as an MP got automatic immunity from prosecution.

The leaders of all four party blocks in the Duma had income in the 3-5m rouble range last year, according to the Duma's figures. The chamber is dominated by supporters of President Vladimir Putin.

The income figures come amid widespread discontent in Russia about price rises and low-paid jobs. That discontent came out during a live phone-in with Mr Putin on Thursday.

Russia's elite

The average Duma MP's salary is about 10 times bigger than the average wage in Russia, which is 30,000 roubles a month.

MPs' pay in Germany is about twice the national average, and in the US, for members of Congress, three times more.

Some Russian MPs earned more than Mr Lugovoi - such as celebrity singer Iosif Kobzon, with 2014 income of 93m roubles.

Mr Lugovoi is also listed as having five houses - three of them country dachas - and a flat.

The highest-paid MP was Grigory Anikeyev, who is in Mr Putin's United Russia party. He got nearly 1bn roubles.

Mr Putin himself earned 7.6m roubles in 2014 - double what he earned in 2013, according to Kremlin figures released this week.

Mr Putin owns a house with land covering 1,500 sq m (16,200 sq ft), as well as a flat and garage. He also uses an official flat and garage, the declaration says.

Some officials in Mr Putin's Kremlin entourage earned more than him, according to the figures.

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