Skripal Poisoning Suspects Found

There’s been a breakthrough in the Skripal poisoning case in Salisbury, England. This comes after a bystander also fell victim to the Russian-designed nerve agent used in the attempted assassination.

Four and a half months ago, Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found slumped on a park bench in the sleepy town of Salisbury.

Investigators quickly established Novichok, a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent had been used in the attempted assassination. It was the first use of chemical weapons on British soil since World War Two.

Now, police may have several perpetrators in their sights. A source with knowledge of the investigation told the UK’s Associated Press news agency that the suspects are thought to be Russian and had been identified through CCTV and border crossing records.

The latest evidence appears to chime with the government’s long-held believe that Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave the green light to kill the Skripals.

“Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”

In response to the Novichok attack, Britain’s allies in Europe and the U.S. expelled dozens of Russian diplomats.

The Skripal’s were lucky to survive. After three weeks in a coma and a week of recovery, Salisbury hospital discharged Yulia. She told Reuters the poisoning had turned her life upside down.

“As I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally, I take one day at a time and want to help care for my father until his full recovery. In the longer term, I hope to return home to my country,” Yulia Skripal said.

However, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess wasn’t so lucky. She and her partner Charlie Rowley were also poisoned by Novichok, perhaps even the same batch used against the Skripals. Sturgess passed away earlier this month. A local coroner said they believe the toxic substance had been placed in a glass bottle. However, the full details of her death have yet to be disclosed.