Skripal suspects: ‘We were only tourists in Salisbury’

Media caption“Our friends had been suggesting for a prolonged time that we revisit this smashing town”

Two group named as suspects in a poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in a UK have pronounced they were merely tourists.

The men, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told a state-run RT channel they had trafficked to Salisbury on a recommendation of friends.

The UK believes a group are Russian troops comprehension officers who attempted to kill Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury final March.

Downing Street liberated a interview.

“The lies and blatant fabrications in this talk given to a Russian state-sponsored TV hire are an insult to a public’s intelligence,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s orator said.

On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin pronounced “there is zero rapist about them” and called them “civilians”.

  • What happened to a Skripals?
  • Skripal suspects interview: Key excerpts

The Skripals survived being tainted by a haughtiness representative Novichok, though Dawn Sturgess – a lady not connected to a Russian events – died in Jul carrying been unprotected to a same substance.

What do a dual Russians say?

Appearing shaken and uncomfortable, a group reliable their names as those announced by a UK investigators – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. “Those are a genuine names,” they said.

RT is Russia’s state-run general broadcaster, and a span were interviewed by a arch editor, Margarita Simonyan. “Their passports compare and a photos and a information from a British side shows it’s these people,” she said.

The group pronounced they worked in a sports nourishment business and had trafficked to London for a brief holiday, wise in a integrate of day trips to Salisbury.

Image copyright

Image caption

The British authorities expelled photos of a dual group they suspected of carrying out a poisoning

“Our friends had been suggesting for a prolonged time that we revisit this smashing town,” Mr Petrov said.

They pronounced they usually stayed an hour in Salisbury on Saturday 3 Mar since of a snowy continue conditions, though returned on Sunday 4 Mar to revisit a sights.

The dual group certified they might have upheld Mr Skripal’s residence by possibility “but we don’t know where it is located,” Mr Petrov said.

When asked about Novichok, they emphatically denied carrying it, or a mutated Nina Ricci redolence bottle that UK investigators contend contained a substance.

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AFP/Met Police

Image caption

The tawdry redolence bottle recovered from Mr Rowley’s home and a box troops contend it came in

“For normal blokes, to be carrying women’s redolence with us, isn’t that silly?” Mr Boshirov asked.

The dual group told RT their lives had been “turned upside down” by a allegations. “We’re fearful to go out, we fear for ourselves, a lives and lives of a desired ones,” pronounced Mr Boshirov.

The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Moscow described a talk as delicately choreographed and bizarre, indicating out that in tinge and calm it matched a whole Russian response to a box – prosaic rejection churned with mockery.

What are a UK allegations?

The British troops trust a group to be officers of Russian troops intelligence, GRU, who might have trafficked on fake passports to London from Moscow in March.

Media captionOn a route of Russians Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who UK troops contend carried out a haughtiness representative conflict in Salisbury in Mar 2018

They contend a purpose of a men’s revisit to Salisbury on 3 Mar was reconnaissance, and on 4 Mar they returned to request Novichok to a Skripals’ front door.

The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says there is adequate justification to crook a dual men, nonetheless it is not requesting to Russia for their extradition since Russia does not extradite a possess nationals.

However, a European Arrest Warrant has been performed in box they transport to a EU, and UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that a group will be held and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russia.

Answers, though still questions

BBC confidence match Gordon Corera

The coming of a dual group looks like a subsequent step in a onslaught between London and Moscow to remonstrate their possess publics and those around a universe about their particular cases.

The volume of fact put out by British troops final week, and a approach indictment that a group were officers in Russian troops intelligence, was something a Kremlin will not have wanted to go unchallenged.

And a Russian supervision will be anticipating this talk will beget magnetism during home for what are pronounced to be a span of sports nourishment salesmen who wanted to see a pleasing English cathedral with a 123-metre spire, though who instead have found themselves indicted of being assassins.

But a risk for Russia is that a talk raises some-more questions than it answers and offers some-more sum for sceptics to unpick and challenge.

How trustworthy are a group generally and privately about their reasons for visiting Salisbury? How trustworthy is their comment of their movements around a city when compared to a CCTV? And given a UK has suggested a names they use are pseudonyms, how convincing are their stories about who they are, including their past, their jobs and their travel?

What happened when

  • At around 15:00 GMT on Friday 2 March, a dual group arrived during Gatwick Airport
  • Police contend they trafficked to London Victoria during 17:40 GMT, and were during Waterloo Station between 18:00 and 19:00 GMT before travelling to their London hotel
  • At 11:45 GMT on Saturday 3 March, they took a sight from Waterloo Station to Salisbury
  • CCTV footage shows a group in Salisbury around 14:25 GMT
  • The group contend they spent reduction than an hour in Salisbury, determining opposite saying Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral since of “muddy jelly everywhere”
  • CCTV footage shows a group holding a sight behind to London during 16:11 GMT
  • On Sunday 4 March, CCTV cameras filmed a group nearing during Salisbury sight hire during 11:48 GMT
  • Police contend they were afterwards seen on CCTV nearby a home of Sergei Skripal during 11:58 GMT
  • The group contend they afterwards visited Salisbury Cathedral
  • CCTV footage shows a group withdrawal Salisbury hire during 13:50 GMT
  • At 19:28 GMT, a group were during Heathrow Airport for an Aeroflot moody to Moscow

What happened to a Skripals?

Yulia Skripal flew in to a UK from Russia on Saturday 3 Mar to revisit her father, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double representative who was vital in Salisbury.

They had been for lunch during a grill in executive Salisbury on 4 Mar when they were found “in an intensely critical condition” on a dais outward a restaurant.

They spent weeks in complete caring in sanatorium before recovering. Ms Skripal was liberated from sanatorium on 9 Apr and her father on 18 May. They are both now in a secure location.

Why Novichok stays lethal for so long

UK troops are joining a conflict to a apart Novichok poisoning on 30 June, when Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill during a residence in Amesbury, about 13km (eight miles) away.

Police pronounced they were unprotected after doing what they believed to be perfume.

Ms Sturgess died in sanatorium on 8 July.