Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

British police seize vehicle in Russian Federation poison investigation

Charlie Rowley Image Charlie Rowley is still in a critical condition
Ellis Copeland | 11 July, 2018, 18:31

Officers have been piecing together movements of the pair in Salisbury and Amesbury before they were taken ill on Saturday 30 June.

They spent weeks in Salisbury District Hospital, where they underwent treatment for suspected exposure to the Russian-created nerve agent Novichok. "Charlie is still very unwell and will continue to require specialist, round-the-clock care here at Salisbury District Hospital", the report says.

The UK's top anti-terror police office said on Wednesday that he could not guarantee those responsible for the poisonings will be caught.

Police have said Sturgess handled an item contaminated by Novichok, a few miles from where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with the same poison in March. Skripal, 67, and his 33-year-old daughter survived the attack in the English town of Salisbury, which the British government blames on Russian Federation.

AC Basu also said reiterated he could not guarantee that Wiltshire was 100% safe from novichok.

When asked if Basu was looking for a "needle in a haystack" and he said, "That's why we need witnesses or intelligence", Sky News reports.

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Mr Basu also said that the "brutal reality" is that he can not say with certainty that there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Police tweeted on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) that the vehicle was being "safely" removed and reminded the public that the risk of contamination with the agent was low.

"There is a possibility they found it on March 5 and only opened it in the past 10 days". Clearly, this is our main line of enquiry, but our investigation must be led by the evidence available and the facts alone.

Among the victims Charlie Rowley, who was exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the death of Sturgess on Sunday (Monday NZT) shows that she and Rowley were exposed to a large quantity of Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Central to the investigation are John Baker House, the supported-living accommodation where Ms Sturgess lived, Mr Rowley's home in Amesbury, and Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which remains cordoned off.

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