Nerve agent suspects: We were in Salisbury as tourists

Lester Mason
September 13, 2018

The two men accused by the United Kingdom of attempting to assassinate a Russian double-agent with nerve poison have defended themselves, claiming they were only at the site of the killing because they wanted to see a cathedral.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told the Kremlin-funded RT channel that they wanted to visit the "wonderful town" of Salisbury and see its famous cathedral on the recommendation of their friends.

Mr Petrov and Mr Boshirov, who say they own a sports nutrition business, said "maybe" they approached former Russian spy Sergei Skripal's house, "but we don't know where it is located".

They denied having any Novichok, a deadly Soviet-developed nerve agent, in their possession.

"We arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow", Petrov said.

Addressing CCTV pictures of both men passing through a gate at Gatwick airport at exactly the same time, Mr Boshirov said: "We always go together through the same corridor and the same custom service officer or a policeman". But we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere.

They said they "got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London.

President Vladimir Putin said the men had been discounted as members of his security network.

"There is nothing special and nothing criminal about it, I'm telling you". "We'll see in the near future".

Analysts told RT that the men either wanted to be noticed on goal or were just two ridiculously clumsy "agents", as the surveillance cameras captured a large proportion of their movements around Salisbury.

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said on September 12, contradicting the British government's assertion that they were officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU.

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March".

"The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country", it said in a statement.

"Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that #Salisbury has to offer. But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage", tweeted John Glen, the Member of Parliament for Salisbury who is also a government minister.

Officers formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury where Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent. Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement in the case.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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