YALTA, April 20. /TASS/. There is no evidence of Russia’s involvement in the poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence officer and British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Bill Etheridge, a member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands region for the UK Independence Party told TASS on Thursday on the sidelines of the Yalta International Economic Forum.
He also indicated the absence of evidence on the Syrian government’s role in the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma.
"In my personal opinion, as I see no evidence of who did the poisoning, I see no evidence whether it was the Syrian government, both of these issues are unproven," Etheridge said.
"Once they are unproven, a basic principle of British law work [is] innocent until proven guilty," he said. "Very important politicians now speak to each other. Calm the situation down."
"Unfortunately our prime minister in this issue among the other things is ignoring the will and the opinions of British people," Etheridge said. "They are completely at odds with the overwhelming amount of public opinion. They don't consult the public opinion."
On March 4, the 66 year-old former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who had served several years in prison in Russia for espionage in favor of UK secret services, and his daughter Yulia, 33, sustained what the UK government qualified as an exposure to a nerve agent.
The British authorities claimed later their experts had identified the agent as ‘novichok’, supposedly developed in Russia. Without providing any proof, London accused the Russian authorities of involvement in the incident.
On April 14, the US, the UK and France delivered amassed missile strikes at Syria, saying it was their consolidated response to an alleged use of chemical weapons in the city of Douma earlier this month.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the list of targets included a research center in Damascus, the headquarters of the Syrian Republican Guard, an air defense facility, several bases of the Air Force, and army depots.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Syrian air defense system managed to bring down 71 of the 103 missiles launched by the ‘allies’.