Berlin still has ‘no evidence’ from UK that Moscow is behind Skripal poisoning – reports
More than three months since the start of the probe into the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, the UK is still conspicuously tight-lipped when it comes to any real evidence that could prove its accusations against Russia.
On Wednesday, the German government informed a parliamentary oversight committee during a closed hearing that it still has not received any evidence suggesting that Russia might well be behind the incident that took place in early March, German TV station RBB reports.
“It is [still] only known that the poison used in the attack was a nerve agent called Novichok, which was once produced in the Soviet Union,” Michael Goetschenberg, a correspondent of German ARD and an expert on security services, told RBB, commenting on the results of the hearing, which he is familiar with. Apart from this information, which was released by the British authorities soon after the incident, no new data on Russia’s alleged implication in this case was provided to Germany so far, he added.
German intelligence has also found no Russian trace in this case so far, Goetschenberg said. “The BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence… has also contacted its own sources and tried to verify the information [about Russia’s potential involvement] in some way,” he told RBB, adding that it eventually failed to find any evidence pointing to Moscow as well.
Following the poisoning, which London blamed on Moscow using the now infamous wording “highly likely,” the UK and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats, with Moscow giving a mirror response. Russia has categorically denied any involvement, and has complained that the victims were not allowed visits by Russian lawyers and diplomats, and the results of the investigation were kept secret. The Russian envoy to the UK has on several occasions alleged that London was even trying to “destroy” evidence in the probe.
Just days ago, Scotland Yard said it was still following multiple leads in the investigation, adding that it still “cannot discuss the results at this stage.” The probe has already cost £7.5 million ($10 million) to British taxpayers, according to the region’s police and crime commissioner.
Meanwhile, both Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been released from the hospital following the incident on March 4.