United Kingdom slams 'deeply offensive' interview with Skripal poisoning suspects

14 September, 2018, 13:45 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Attack The suspects believed to be travelling as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer turned double agent for Britain, and his visiting daughter fell ill March 4 from what Britain says was a Soviet-developed nerve agent; an investigating police officer also was hospitalized for about three weeks.

The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom on Thursday, even as it faces multiple ongoing investigations by media regulator Ofcom into its coverage of the attack in March.

They said they wanted to go to Stonehenge but were prevented from doing so because there was "muddy slush everywhere" so they got wet and went back to London an hour after arriving, as there was an intermittent weekend train service.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the men had promised to send her images of their visit to Salisbury Cathedral - which they claimed was the reason for their visit - but haven't done so.

Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov attend their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow, Russia, Thursday.

They are then accused of looking nervous, to which Boshirov responds: "What would you look like?"

Both men looked composed during the interview, but Boshirov said, "We fear for our lives".

The men denied the allegations and said they visited Salisbury on March 3 for tourism but stayed for 30 minutes only. "There's the famous Salisbury cathedral, famous not only in Europe but in the whole world, it's famous for its 123m spire, it's famous for its clock, one of the first ever created in the world that's still working".

"We, of course, checked who these people are", said Putin.

British police released CCTV footage and photographs showing the two men walking in Skripal's neighborhood on March 4, the day of the attack.

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It was a fine performance, given that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov had a very short time to learn their lines, brush up their knowledge of early English Gothic architecture and take on the parts of a pair of bemused civilian tourists rather than the military intelligence poisoners they so unmistakably are.

The two men Britain has accused in the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter claimed Thursday they were merely tourists in the area where the incident occurred.

The British government believes the men sprayed the front door of the Skripals' front door with the highly toxic Novichok nerve agent before returning to London and flying to Moscow that same evening. Investigators say the names they used were likely aliases.

The men denied carrying women's perfume after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok and they denied knowing where the Skripals lived.

"The customs are checking everything", Boshirov said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said: "The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian-state sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence".

John Glen, the Conservative MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire, dismissed the statements from Petrov and Boshirov as "not credible".

In the TV broadcast, the men were asked why they went to Salisbury on two different days.

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March".

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