As it happenedended1632236847

Salisbury attack: PM calls on Russia to hand over novichok suspects as third spy charged over poisoning

Latest updates on the Salisbury novichok attack

Joe Middleton,Lamiat Sabin
Tuesday 21 September 2021 16:07
Russian spy Denis Sergeev accused of attempted murder over Salisbury novichok attack

Boris Johnson has today called on Russia to hand over those responsible for the Salisbury novichok poisonings after a new suspect was named.

The Prime Minister told Sky News he wanted the suspects “handed over for justice” after a third Russian spy, Denis Sergeev, faces charges of attempted murder.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed that the government will be “relentless” in its pursuit of justice over the incident and told MPs in the House of Commons that ministers are “committed” to introducing new legislation to counter state threats.

Former Russian military officer Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were lucky to escape with their lives after exposure to the poison.

Dawn Sturgess died from exposure to novichok and her partner Charlie Rowley continues to suffer from medical issues after the incident. Police officer Nick Bailey was forced to quit the force after coming into contact with the nerve agent.

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Denis Sergeev named as ‘third man’ responsible as UK police authorise charges

A third Russian spy has been charged with involvement in the 2018 Salisbury novichok attack.

Denis Sergeev, who travelled to the UK under the alias Sergey Fedotov, is believed to have commanded the two GRU agents who carried out the poisoning from London.

He flew from Moscow to Heathrow Airport on 2 March 2018, arriving around four hours before his colleagues, and stayed at a hotel in Paddington for two nights.

Lizzie Dearden reports

Denis Sergeev named as third man responsible for Salisbury novichok attack

A third Russian spy has been charged with involvement in the 2018 Salisbury novichok attack.

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:03
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How a lethal substance sparked an international incident in a quiet English city

The Independent’s Andy Gregory wrote an extensive feature on the shocking and tragic events that thrust the Wiltshire city into global headlines.

How a novichok attack sparked an international incident in Salisbury

What happened in the Salisbury novichok attack?

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:05
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Pictured: Denis Sergeev

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:09
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What has Denis Sergeev been charged with?

In a press release from the Metropolitan Police, Sergeev has been charged with the following offences:

-Conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal;

- Attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey;

- Causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey; and,

- Possession and use of a chemical weapon, contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act 1996.

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:16
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Novichok bottle that went missing in Salisbury ‘could have killed thousands'

The amount of novichok concealed in a counterfeit perfume bottle used in the 2018 Salisbury attack could have killed thousands of people, police have said.

Investigators still do not know what happened to the weapon between when it was used to poison Sergei Skripal on 4 March 2018, and when it was discovered by a member of the public on 22 June that year.

Believing the fake Nina Ricci perfume to be real, Charlie Rowley gave it as a present to his partner Dawn Sturgess, who died after applying the nerve agent to her skin.

The Independent’s security correspondent Lizzie Dearden reports.

Novichok bottle that went missing in Salisbury ‘could have killed thousands’

Victim Dawn Sturgess died after applying novichok from the discarded bottle to her skin, in the belief it was perfume

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:21
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Today’s announcement ‘will affect many people’ says Wiltshire Police chief constable

Wiltshire Police chief constable Kier Pritchard said he welcomed the development today.

“I know this announcement by the Counter Terrorism Policing Network today will affect many people - the victims, their families and the communities of Salisbury and Amesbury,” he said.

“These shocking incidents had a significant impact on all involved and my thoughts, and those of Wiltshire Police, remain with Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Charlie Rowley, the family of Dawn Sturgess, who tragically died, and former Wiltshire Police Detective Sergeant, Nick Bailey.

“The Counter Terrorism Policing Network investigation team continues to work tirelessly to seek to bring those responsible to justice and Wiltshire Police will continue to offer our full and ongoing support in this investigation.”

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:28
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Timeline of movement of Russian spies accused of novichok attack

The Independent’s security correspondent Lizzie Dearden previously created a timeline showing the movements of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov after they landed in the UK.

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:41
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Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner welcomes ‘important’ announcement

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “My thoughts, and those of my office, remain with Dawn Sturgess’ family and friends, alongside the other victims who have had their lives devastated by this incident.

“While today’s announcement is important, it is vital we remember a member of our community was killed and others left changed and traumatised by the barbaric use of a nerve agent on UK soil.

“Our community has rebuilt, and those other victims are coming to terms with the long-lasting implications, so my hope now is the perpetrators will have their appalling crimes levelled against them and all of the victims will see justice served in their names.

“I am democratically elected to hold our police force to account, it would be widely welcomed if some foreign security services demonstrated that same accountability.”

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 11:55
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Foreign Office will raise Denis Sergeev issue with Russian ambassador, confirms PM spokesperson

The UK will raise with the Russian ambassador on Tuesday the issue of a third Russian who has been charged in absentia with the 2018 Novichok murder attempt on a former double agent, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said.

“The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) will be raising this matter with the Russian ambassador today,” the spokesman said.

“If these individuals should ever travel outside Russia we will do everything we can to detain them, to extradite them and to bring them to justice here in the UK.”

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 12:12
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It would be ‘futile’ to try and bring Sergeev to justice while he is in Russia, No10 spokesman says

Downing Street acknowledged it would be “futile” to seek to bring Denis Sergeev to justice while he remained in Russia.

A No 10 spokesman said: “We don’t have an extradition treaty with Russia and, as we have found with other cases such as that of Litvinenko, any formal extradition request is futile.”

Joe Middleton21 September 2021 12:31