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Diplomat notes Skripal pets’ deaths may hide key evidence

April 06, 2018, 14:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The house was searched but the pets remained unnoticed, the Russian diplomat pointed out

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The cat and two guinea pigs Sergei Skripal had kept in his home might have proved an important piece of evidence in the case of the former GRU colonel’s poisoning, because the animals died under very strange circumstances, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook page, adding that did not happen because they were cremated.

"At first sight this may look a reason for another portion of key-witnesses-have-been-eliminated jokes," she said. "In reality, though, they were really ‘crucial pieces of evidence,’ if it is true a poisonous substance, according to some versions, might have been used inside Skripal’s house."

Strange search

Zakharova was surprised that the pets reportedly died because they had remained inside the house all alone without being taken care of.

"How is that? The house was searched but the pets remained unnoticed. The pets of a man who was suspected to have been poisoned with a nerve gas?!" she said.

Also, Zakharova raised doubts why the cat was euthanized at the Porton Down chemical laboratory.

"Is this Britain’s usual way of treating house pets? Is it quite common?" she asked.

"That is not all," Zakharova went on to say. "According to media rumors, the guinea pigs and the cat were cremated. In other words, destroyed, although the pets’ bodies might have served a crucial piece of evidence in the poisoning case."

Zakharova said that according to Russian sources, the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) did know that pets were remaining in Skripal’s house, but kept quiet about that.

"We would like to hear explanations," she added.

Earlier, the Russian embassy in London had learned from Skripal’s niece Viktoria, that her uncle kept pets at home. The embassy addressed the British Foreign Office with an official query. The Daily Mail later said that the guinea pigs died of dehydration, while the cat had to be euthanized due to the stress the animal had experienced. The animals’ bodies were cremated.

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