U.K issues European Arrest Warrant for Skripal case

An undated handout photo made available by the British London Metropolitan Police (MPS) showing both suspects, Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov (L), at Salisbury train station at 16:11hrs (BST) on 03 March 2018. The MPS reported on 05 September 2018 that they have charged two suspects ? both Russian nationals, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, - in relation to the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia who were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury city centre southern England, on 04 March 2018, after being poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent. The MPS state that, 'We now have sufficient evidence to bring charges in relation to the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and domestic and European arrest warrants have been issued for the two suspects. We are also seeking to circulate Interpol Red Notices.' EPA-EFE/LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

U.K issues European Arrest Warrant for Skripal case


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British prosecutors issued a European Arrest Warrant on Wednesday for Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The two alleged Russian military intelligence officers (GRU) are charged with the attempted murder of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia (34) with the nerve agent Novichok. The attack with a nerve agent in the town of Salisbury on March 4, 2018 was the first of its kind in Western Europe.

Sergei Skripal was arrested by Russian authorities in 2006 and exchanged in a spy swop in 2010.

“The government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and the CPS {Prosecutor} are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU,” the British Prime Minister Theresa May informed the parliament on Wednesday.

The two Russian nationals are also linked to the murder of Dawn Sturges, an innocent bystander who apparently found the nerve agent container. The agent was bottled in a designer perfume container, which Ms Sturges found and sprayed on herself. Her partner was also affected but survived.

Skripal is a former GRU officer who passed on information on Russian intelligence assets to the UK’s MI6. The UK has always maintained that it holds the Kremlin responsible for the attack, accusing Russia of violating the Chemical Weapons Act.

On Wednesday the UK prosecutors offered detailed evidence backing the case against the two nationals. The police has been able to reconstruct in detail their travel: from Moscow to Gatwick Airport, through tube and train stations to Salisbury, their reconnaissance visits of the site and, finally, the execution of the plan, seconds before the release of the nerve agent.

For this purpose, the police have documented these charges with CCTV footage. The investigation engaged 250 detectives analyzing 11,000 hours of footage.

The two men apparently arrived in London on March 2, apparently using aliases. The two men have been linked directly with the Novickock agent, as the police have found traces in their London hotel room.

The Russian foreign ministry denies any connection of the Russian government with the two individuals. The UK’s prosecutor will not apply for the extradition of the two men, as the Russian constitution does not permit the extradition of its own nationals.

The case is not without precedent. British media are making parallels with the Litvinenko case, in which the alleged perpetrator of the act was not only protected but also pursued a political career in Russia.

The British UN Ambassador is expected to request an urgent UN Security Council meeting on Thursday to address these developments.

Russian news media report that the UK’s ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, has been invited to discuss the issue with Russia’s foreign ministry official Igor Neverov.

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