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OPCW expert’s letter on WikiLeaks shows organization’s bias — Russian Foreign Ministry

The e-mail message authored by an OPCW expert was critical of the OPCW mission’s report of the investigation into the alleged chemical warfare attack in Syria’s Douma in April 2018

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. The e-mail message authored by an expert of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), uploaded to the website WikiLeaks, critical of the OPCW mission’s report of the investigation into the incident in Syria’s Douma in April 2018, is evidence that the mission’s conclusions are biased, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"WikiLeaks has published tangible evidence the missions’ report is biased, to put it mildly. The controversy over this report has already drawn extensive international response," Zakharova said. "We expect that the chiefs of the OPCW Technical Secretariat will give a chance to the mission’s experts, who participated in the investigation, to answer the member countries’ questions. I would like to recall that so far all insistent and well-reasoned requests for a direct contact that would let experts put questions to the mission’s members have been declined."

Zakharova informed that the message published on the WikiLeaks website touched upon many issues that had many times been raised by Russian and international specialists.

"Russia and a number of other countries have repeatedly called in question the conclusions presented by the OPCW mission following this probe," Zakharova stated. "We’ve said more than once that the mission’s chemical and toxicological analysis, as well as ballistic calculations and the questioning of witnesses were not very convincing from the standpoint of a professional approach and bore clear signs of a political bias."

Earlier, the WikiLeaks website published a number of documents challenging the OPCW conclusions concerning the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma on April 7, 2018. One of the members of the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria e-mailed a message to the other OPCW members saying that the "doctored" version of the report on the incident in Syria’s Douma was "something quite different to what was originally drafted." In particular, the message pointed to the fact that missing from the final report was a whole section that called in question the claims that the alleged victims of the incident had been affected by "chlorine or any other choking agent."