Russian Federation calls on United Kingdom to help identify poisoning suspects

Adjust Comment Print

The order to carry out the Salisbury nerve agent attack came from the "highest level" of the Russian state, the Home Secretary has said.

Mr Javid told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show the GRU operated on a "very short leash from the Kremlin" and was "getting its instructions directly from the highest levels of the Russian government".

British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce briefed the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Thursday on the latest developments in the case of the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The alleged perpetrators were identified in a dramatic joint police and Crown Prosecution Service press conference.

Police say Petrov and Boshirov, both about 40, flew from Moscow to London on Russian passports two days before the Skripals were poisoned.

Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service said the United Kingdom wouldn't ask Moscow to hand the men over because Russian law forbids extradition of its citizens.

A deadly Soviet-era nerve agent called novichok allegedly was smeared or sprayed onto the door handle of Skripal's home in Salisbury. Police said in a statement that those are the names by which the suspects "are known to them".

Police said they arrived in Britain from Moscow on March 2 at London's Gatwick airport on an Aeroflot flight and left on March 4.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "We have no evidence that they re-entered the United Kingdom after that date".

Police on Wednesday gave new details about what Basu called "one of the most complex investigations" the force had ever seen.

Police didn't test the budget City Stay Hotel for Novichok until two months after the attack, but Basu said the tiny quantity of nerve agent found there did not pose a risk to other guests.

More news: British Airways travelers' credit card details hacked
More news: Gordon makes landfall on Gulf Coast
More news: Rookie LB Oren Burks inactive for Packers vs. Bears

Basu said they ha no doubt the two events were connected and they were liaising with prosecutors about bringing charges connected to the poisoning of Sturgess and Rowley.

Rowley told officers he found a box he thought contained perfume in a charity bin on June 27.

Basu said the manner in which the bottle and packaging was adapted makes it a "perfect cover" for smuggling the weapon into the country.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the two prime suspects in the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are agents of Russia's military intelligence agency. The prosecutors said that the U.K.is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country's citizens.

"As we made clear in March, only Russian Federation had the technical means, operational experience and motive to carry out the attack".

"So, as we found following the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, any formal extradition request in this case would be futile". Britain has obtained domestic and European arrest warrants for the suspects, meaning they can be detained if they leave Russian Federation for another European country. They spent weeks hospitalized in critical condition and are now recovering in a secret location for their own protection.

Both Sergei and Yulia Skripal survived the attack, but only after extensive medical treatment.

The Metropolitan Police continue a murder investigation into the death of Sturgess. The British government claimed that Russian Federation might have been involved in the incident.

Britain says the responsibility for the attack goes all the way up to President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Corbyn had a security briefing this morning from officials which doesn't appear to have gone into "next steps" but did manage to convince him that the Russian state itself was responsible for the attacks in Salisbury and the Russian state should be condemned.

Ushakov pointed to the fact that British authorities mentioned that they think the men's names are aliases and wondered "why this has been done and what kind of a message" Britain is trying to send to the Russian government.

Comments