Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Novichok poisoning accused will never speak to journalists again - RT

Novichok poisoning accused will never speak to journalists again - RT

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that Russia had found two men accused by British prosecutors of trying to murder ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain, but there was nothing criminal about them.

The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.

United Kingdom authorities believe the pair smeared the highly toxic chemical Novichok on a door handle at the Wiltshire home of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, leaving Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ill. "Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Prime Minister May said last week that the men were agents from Russia's GRU military intelligence and that the Kremlin had "almost certainly" authorized the attempted murder and the use of the nerve agent Novichok on British soil. "What is our fault?"

When asked by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan whether they had a counterfeit bottle of designer perfume, which the police said contained the nerve agent, Borishov replied: "Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume? We didn't have it", Boshirov said.

United Kingdom prosecutors have said they have "sufficient evidence" to charge the pair but did not formally demand their extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens.

The two suspects appeared on Russian television on Thursday for the first time.

Boris Johnson has branded the two Russians suspected of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal "murderers" and dared them to sue him. Ms Simonyan made clear the two men, "the real (as far as I can tell) Petrov and Boshirov", had contacted her offering an interview.

The men identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov speaking to the RT channel in Moscow. The two spent weeks at a hospital prior to being discharged.

"Sadly, it is what we have come to expect" from Russian Federation, the spokesman said.

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"Neither Petrov nor Boshirov have anything to do with Putin", Peskov said, adding that they have nothing to do with the Kremlin either.

The source said it is believed they could have met a handler who worked at the embassy and that the medic may have been in an oversight role.

At one point their interviewer turned on an air conditioning unit because she noted they were sweating.

"A tourist town", Boshirov said.

They also confirmed that they had travelled to Europe before.

The assertions included a claim from the pair that they had been forced to abandon the first of their two visits because of "muddy slush" when CCTV footage showed them walking on streets devoid of any or ice.

Other documents published by the two sites included an Aeroflot flight manifest that indicates the two men bought their tickets at the last minute, contradicting their claims that the trip to Salisbury had been planned long ago.

They left after no more than an hour because of poor weather and heavy snow, but returned to the city the next day - March 4, the day of the attack.

Boshirov acknowledged the pair may have been near Mr Skripal's house, but claimed they did not know where it was.

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