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British media watchdog scrutinizes RT’s objectivity on reporting Skripal case

April 18, 17:21 UTC+3 LONDON

The outcome of the investigation will come out as soon as possible, the watchdog vowed

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© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

LONDON, April 18. /TASS/. The UK’s media watchdog, Ofcom, opened seven investigations into the due impartiality of the RT television channel over its news reporting on the poisoning of ex-GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4, the Ofcom’s message published on Wednesday stated.

"Ofcom has today opened seven new investigations into the due impartiality of news and current affairs programmes on the RT news channel," the message on its website read.

According to the British media watchdog, "Until recently, TV Novosti’s [the company that broadcasts RT - TASS] overall compliance record has not been materially out of line with other broadcasters." "However, since the events in Salisbury, we have observed a significant increase in the number of programmes on the RT service that warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code," Ofcom’s press release stated. "We will announce the outcome of these investigations as soon as possible," the watchdog vowed.

Ofcom also attached a list of broadcasts under investigation to the press release. The probe will focus on news and discussion programs furnished by the RT television channel and the Sputnik news agency that were on air from March 17 to April 16, 2018.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the incident had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the case without presenting any evidence. The Russian side flatly rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. On April 12, the OPCW released a report confirming London’s findings that former Russian military intelligence officer-turned-British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had been poisoned with a nerve agent, but did not provide any information on the name or origin of the toxin in question.

Earlier, Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital and is continuing her recovery in an unknown location. Though still hospitalized, Sergei Skripal’s condition is improving, according to medical professionals.

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