Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Novichok Suspects 'Didn't Exist Before 2009', Passport Data Reveals

Skripal suspects interview: Key excerpts Skripal poisoning suspects say they were tourists in UK
Ellis Copeland | 16 September, 2018, 20:50

Belligcat, an online investigative organization headquartered in England, published a phone number Friday that it said came from what it described as the passport records of Alexander Petrov, one of the two men British authorities charged in the poisonings and alleged were Russian military intelligence agents.

"These are ordinary citizens".

The spokesman for UK Prime Minister May said earlier in particular that "The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence".

"We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones", Boshirov said.

The men raised eyebrows when they said they had been to the cathedral city twice in two days because heavy snow forced them to turn back on their first visit.

DW takes a closer look at what the two suspects said.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan conducted the interview with the men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Russlan Boshirov. Only this week, we heard an official statement from London, which said that they did not plan to employ the legal assistance mechanism and send any requests to Russian Federation.

The former Russian spy and his daughter were found collapsed on 4 March; the police officer fell ill after trying to help them.

Brit authorities are attempting to find a medic nicknamed Dr Novichok and a fourth man who helped the duo target ex-spy Sergei Skripal, it is claimed.

Before the interview, they had made her agree to a strict set of conditions to minimise the chance of being tracked down.

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The men said they worked in the sports nutrition business and had travelled to London for a short holiday, fitting in a couple of day trips to Salisbury.

"We went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere", Petrov said, referring to local landmarks.

The insider said Borishov and Petrov - both of whom claim to be innocent tourists - could have met the other two suspects after checking in at City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London. Investigators say Novichok, the nerve agent used in the attack, was carried in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle.

The full unedited interview still hasn't been published online but the RT anchors addressed the obvious question of why these two men would approach RT, a cable network whose audience is primarily people outside of Russian Federation.

The two accused men spoke on camera for almost 30 minutes, rarely smiling as they discussed their actions with RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

"CCTV shows them in the vicinity of Mr Skripal's house and we believe that they contaminated the front door with Novichok".

London renewed its assertions that the men were officers of the Russian military intelligence service GRU and lied about their involvement in the poisoning of one-time Russian agent Sergei Skripal. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in the city center later that day.

They spent weeks in intensive care in hospital before recovering.

Peskov said he hasn't yet had time to watch their interview and said he didn't know if Putin saw it.

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