Give us FIVE! UK ‘security sources’ identify two more Skripal suspects
Nearly a year after the Salisbury incident, the number of Russian suspects implicated in the alleged Novichok poisoning by UK authorities is suddenly growing exponentially, with two others now being investigated by the police.
Citing “senior security sources” the Daily Mail reported Friday that the two suspects “posed as Russian tourists” to obtain a UK visa in March 2018, and are thought to have successfully returned back to their homeland.
According to the report, the two are alleged to have played “a much smaller role” and did not travel with primary “poisoners” Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to the cathedral city, which Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had made their home.Also on rt.com To be continued? ‘3rd suspect’ in Skripal poisoning saga may have stayed in UK, report claims
While the information appears to have been leaked to the tabloid, government officials were expected to be briefed on the new suspects’ involvement “within weeks.”
Scotland Yard refused to confirm or deny the report saying that police "continue to pursue a number of lines of enquiries including identifying any suspects who may have been involved."
The report comes days after the Telegraph published a story claiming that a Russian agent with a passport in the name of “Sergey Fedotov” aborted his plan to leave the UK on the same day as the Skripals fell ill, and on the same flight as the first two named suspects.
“It is not clear why Fedotov did not board the flight. But at the last minute he checked himself and his bags off it,” a source alleged to The Telegraph. “He could still have been running around Britain.”
“Citizen journalists” Bellingcat have claimed that Fedotov’s passport had a near-identical number to those of Petrov and Boshirov, and that he likely “flew back to Moscow from another European capital.”
Russian news outlet Fontanka has alleged that Fedotov, whose supposed role was first publicized in October last year, had previously been in the Czech Republic at the same time as Sergei Skripal in 2014, and was also implicated in the unsolved poisoning of a Bulgarian businessman in Sofia the following year.Also on rt.com ‘Our men in Salisbury’: Petrov & Boshirov's European adventures turned into board game in Russia
None of the latest allegations have been backed up with prima facie evidence, and Petrov and Boshirov remain the only men charged by UK prosecutors over the events of last March.
The Russian embassy in London has condemned the UK “for trying to keep the story alive with a series of staggered leaks, each citing unnamed sources.”
“This allows London to regularly remind its citizens about ‘Russia’s use of chemical weapons’ without presenting any evidence, and to distract them from Brexit,” it said in a statement, demanding greater transparency over the investigation, and consular access to the Skripals, both of whom remain Russian citizens.