Russia blames UK for leaking Skripal details to media

  05 July 2019    Read: 1005
Russia blames UK for leaking Skripal details to media

Russian foreign ministry says UK investigators provide media information about agent Skripal’s case

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday blamed British investigators, for leaking information to media about the case related to alleged Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.  

Referring to the technical data, published by the BBC and the Bellingcat -- an investigative website -- Zakarova said such details could be obtained legally, only through the appropriate authorization.

Addressing a news conference in Moscow, she said the information was being leaked by the Special Services and then its officials were again asked to comment.

In March last year, Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury. They had been allegedly poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia, according to British authorities.

"The publication of the investigations by the Bellingcat and the BBC, shows the hand behind. The set of technical data, accessed by the media, could be legally obtained only with the appropriate authorization," she said.

Raising number of questions, she asked those behind publishing these stories to answer, where Skripal had gone on the morning of March 4? She further claimed that the alleged spy and his daughter had switched off their phones.

“How was a medical team trained to deal with the chemical poisoning present in the nearest hospital and why Skripal’s family was hiding?”

Skripal and his daughter were discharged from hospital, after months of treatment. A police officer involved in the case also had to undergo treatment.

British police claimed that Russian military officers Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, the two main suspects in the poisoning had smuggled in the nerve agent in a perfume bottle. After the two denied their role in the poisoning in an interview with the Russian state TV, the British government denounced Russia’s "obfuscation and lies" in the case.

The Bellingcat had claimed that it had identified a third suspect in connection with the poisoning case. It claimed the man was a high-ranking officer in the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.

Russia has questioned the website claims. It has publicly questioned whether Bellingcat is an arm of the U.K. government to malign Russia.

A former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal was allegedly acting as a double agent for the U.K's intelligence services till early 2000s. He was arrested by Russians in 2004, and later tried, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He settled in the U.K. in 2010 following a spy swap agreement.

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