US House panel endorses suggestion that Russia had hand in ex-spy's death

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives endorsed a resolution Wednesday that suggested the Russian government might have had a hand in the 2006 radiation poisoning death of a Russian dissident. The resolution asks President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to press Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials to cooperate with British investigators probing the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian-born former KGB agent who fled to Britain in 2000 and took British citizenship. He died in November 2006 in a British hospital from the effects of radioactive polonium-210 he had ingested. British authorities have said they will try to prosecute Russian Andrei Lugovoi in Litvinenko's death. They expelled four Russian diplomats last year because the Kremlin refused to extradite Lugovoi. The resolution was offered by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Foreign Affairs Committee's top Republican. It will have no effect except as an expression of the sense of Congress and now goes to the full House for action. Passed as a concurrent resolution of both chambers, it also will go to the Senate for consideration.