Skripal poisoning suspects not criminals: Putin

Lester Mason
September 12, 2018

The comments came after British Prime Minister Theresa May last week publicly alleged that the poisoning incidents in Salisbury involving former spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were prepared and executed by the Russian military intelligence service - with alleged approval for the whole operation at "a senior level of the Russian state".

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia September 12, 2018.

Putin called on the two men to appear in media to protest their innocence, saying he "wanted to address them directly". This would be best for everyone.

"There's nothing particularly even criminal about it, I assure you. We'll see in the near future", he added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the use of a chemical weapon in the city of Salisbury, which left a British woman dead and four people, including Skripal and his daughter, seriously ill, was carried out by officers of the GRU intelligence service and nearly certainly approved "at a senior level of the Russian state".

Both were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent - developed by the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s - in March but survived after spending weeks in hospital.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned the men, thought to be aged about 40, will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

The CPS is not applying to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men, as Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals.

But a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU.

A police officer who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, Nick Bailey, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance.

Nerve agent attack: What is Novichok? . Mr Rowley was later discharged.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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