Russian Poisoning Suspects: We Were Just Tourists

14 September, 2018, 15:37 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel
  • Novichok suspects. Pic Russia Today

Britain on Thursday, September 13, dismissed as an "insult" an interview shown on Russian television with two men who appeared to be the suspects accused by London of poisoning a former Russian spy with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

The British police released CCTV images last week showing two men in their forties, who they say used the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to enter the country, traveling to and from Salisbury on the weekend in March that Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.

The two men's story, particularly their claim that they cut their visit short because of cold weather, and a light dusting of snow, was widely mocked by foreign correspondents in Moscow.

In the television interview, they denied they were GRU agents and claimed to work instead in the nutrient supplements business.

Simonyan asked the men during the exchange whether they are GRU officers.

The men seemed to be around 40 years old and wore nearly identical dark blue jumpers.

Asked why they appeared nervous, Boshirov replied that this was because of the worldwide attention they had received. That's when police said security-camera footage placed them in the immediate vicinity of the Skripals' home just before noon.

Petrov said he heard Putin's statement on the radio and chose to contact RT's editor-in-chief.

"They are believed to have taken a similar route when they returned to London on the afternoon of Saturday, 3 March".

Skripal's attempted assassination has drawn comparisons with the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko with highly radioactive polonium in London in 2006.

Putin urged the two men to speak to the journalists.

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"More importantly, the are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack". We came to RT for protection, but what we got was an interrogation.

Yulia Skripal flew in to the United Kingdom from Russia on Saturday, 3 March to visit her father, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who was living in Salisbury.

"Sure... In Switzerland, we were a couple of times..."

"Of course, we went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere".

Boshirov acknowledged the pair may have been near Mr Skripal's house, but claimed they did not know where it was.

"We were just taking in the English gothic [style]", Boshirov said. He said they were innocent and "nothing criminal" about them, apparently contradicting accusations by Scotland Yard that they were agents of Russian military intelligence. Police believe the perfume bottle had been specially adapted to carry the poison.

"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?", RT quoted Boshirov as saying in remarks translated into English.

"A tourist town", Boshirov said. "We didn't have it".

However, a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU, and UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the men will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation. "Any sensible person would be afraid", said Boshirov.

Before the interview, they had made her agree to a strict set of conditions to minimise the chance of being tracked down.

They said that if the real poisoners are found, they would like to hear an apology and would not have come forward if Russian President Vladimir Putin had not suggested it.

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