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UK charges 2 Russians with poisoning ex-spy, daughter with deadly nerve agent

Posted in World

Published on September 09, 2018 with No Comments

Scotland Yard has said that there was “sufficient evidence” to charge two Russian nationals for the nerve agent poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK earlier this year.The suspects were named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, believed to be in their 40s and using the names as aliases, Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement.

The 66-year-old former Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a shopping centre bench in the English town of Salisbury on March 4. They spent weeks in hospital in critical condition before Yulia being released in April and Sergei in May. They had been sent to an undisclosed location.

Britain blamed Russia for poisoning them with a military-grade nerve agent, Novichok, a charge Russia vehemently denied.

The poisoning has sparked a Cold War-style diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West, including the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from both sides.

“We now have sufficient evidence to bring charges in relation to the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and domestic and European arrest warrants have been issued for the two suspects. We are also seeking to circulate Interpol Red Notices,” said Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the UK’s National Lead for Counter Terrorism Policing.

He confirmed that the police were in “no doubt” that the attack on the Skripals in March had been linked with events in nearby Amesbury, which poisoned Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley in July and led to the death of 44-year-old Sturgess.

“We know that Novichok was applied to the Skripals’ front door in an area that is accessible to the public, which also endangered the lives of members of the public and emergency service responders,” Basu said.

Sue Hemming, CPS director of legal services, said there was enough evidence “to provide a realistic prospect of conviction” and that “it is clearly in the public interest to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov”.



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