British police say have identified suspects in Novichok poisoning

Blanche Robertson
July 21, 2018

British police investigators say they have identified the suspects responsible for the Novichok poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March, British media reported Thursday.

Police believe the two suspects left the United Kingdom for Russian Federation after the poisoning, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

According to British-based news agency Press Association (PA), detectives ascertained that several Russian nationals were linked to the attempted assassination of Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4. Both have since recovered.

Police believe the incidents are linked and the United Kingdom government has blamed Russian Federation, but the country's authorities deny any involvement.

Police yesterday began searching Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which Sturgess and Rowley visited shortly before they fell ill.

The nerve toxin was discovered in a bottle found at the home of Sturgess's partner Charles Rowley, 45, who remains in critical condition in a hospital.

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Scotland Yard police headquarters refused to comment on the report.

Investigators used facial recognition technology to find the two individuals, who are not known to have been spies or used in other attacks, CNN reported Thursday.

Investigators do not believe that Sturgess and Rowley were specifically targeted, but had become accidental victims after they came into contact with a container that was used in the original attack on the Skripals.

It is believed mother-ofthree Ms Sturgess may have sprayed novichok on to her skin after finding a discarded perfume bottle containing it in the Salisbury area.

Inquests are medical and legal hearings conducted in Britain in cases of unnatural, sudden or violent death. He adjourned the proceedings until January to allow time for police inquiries to continue. They set out to determine the place, time and type of death, but do not apportion blame.

A fingertip search of Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury was carried out on Wednesday. Before being relocated to England as part of a high-profile spy swap, Skripal had been a Russian Army colonel who fed information to British intelligence. Twelve GRU officers were charged Friday with hacking Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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