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UN source points out inconsistencies in UK investigation of Skripal case

September 06, 20:08 UTC+3 UN

On September 5, Scotland Yard published a report stating that traces of the Novichok nerve agent were found at a hotel room in eastern London, where suspects in the Skripal case stayed

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UN, September 6. /TASS/. The actions of UK law enforcement agencies, which allegedly discovered traces of Novichok at a hotel in London but did not inform the public about the dangers, raise a lot of questions, a diplomatic source in the UN told TASS on Thursday.

On September 5, Scotland Yard published a report stating that traces of the Novichok nerve agent were found at a hotel room in eastern London, where suspects in the Skripal case stayed in March. They also informed that they took samples for analysis at the Porton Down lab on May 4, 2018.

"This is what the Scotland Yard statement says, but somehow, this information is not present in the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office, which filed an indictment," the source said. "The Scotland Yard statement suggests that they took several samples in the hotel room, two of which contained Novichok, but further analysis showed negative results."

"This causes a lot of questions," he noted. "Firstly, all previous probes were sent for technical analysis to the OPCW, and there is no information concerning this probe. Secondly - why wasn’t the public informed about the danger at the hotel? It turns out that on May 4, they found traces of Novichok, and since then, any visitor could have been poisoned there, according to their statement."

No warning for London residents

The diplomat also noted that contrary to Salisbury and Amesbury, no London residents have been notified of the potential danger. "They have waited four months since May to inform the public about it," he said.

"But if they had this information in May, why didn’t they provide it to the OPCW and offer to include the chemical in the organization’s database, and most importantly, why did they wait so long to make the information public?" the source told TASS. "It means that either they had some doubts concerning this version, or they published it now for their political ends," the diplomat concluded.

London’s recent statements

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May told the UK parliament that the Crown Prosecution Service was ready to charge two Russian citizens - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - with an attempt on the lives of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Reports also stated that the British police would go ahead with inquiries into the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings as parts of one case. May added that the operation was "approved at a senior level of the Russian state."

On March 4, former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury. The British government claimed that Russia might have been involved in the incident. Moscow strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, adding that programs for developing this substance had never existed in the Soviet Union or Russia.

Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton down has failed to identify the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.

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