ITV News — July 4, 2018
A couple who were left in a critical condition in Amesbury came into contact with the nerve agent Novichok, the country’s top counter-terrorism police officer has said.
Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Neil Basu said it was a “line of inquiry” whether the Novichok which poisoned Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess was from the same batch which was used in the “attempted murder” of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March.
On Friday, the day before they became ill, the couple – who are both in their 40s – were in Queen Elizabeth Gardens in nearby Salisbury, close to where the Skripals were found.
Wiltshire Police initially thought the couple had taken contaminated crack cocaine or heroin when they were found at Mr Rowley’s flat in Muggleton Road in Amesbury on Saturday, but due to symptoms the pair were displaying, samples were taken from them and sent to the Government chemical weapons research laboratory at Porton Down for testing.
A major incident was then declared.
Comment — July 5, 2018
It may be more than a coincidence that the above incident occurred a few miles from where the Skripals were poisoned.
Was it staged as a warning to Yulia Skripal to prevent her from returning to Russia? Because if she does it will deliver a blow to British efforts to demonise Putin and implicate Russia in her poisoning. It will also raise serious questions about Britain’s involvement. Ed.
Nerve agent victim Yulia Skripal intends to ‘soon’ return to Russia despite Britain blaming Putin for her poisoning, according to Moscow newspaper
Will Stewart –Daily Mail July 4, 2018
Yulia Skripal has sensationally indicated she intends ‘soon’ to return to Russia, according to a Moscow newspaper.
The 34-year-old victim of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury recently spoke by phone to a friend and a relative in her home country, it was claimed.
Her reported desire to return to her homeland – which could not be independently verified – comes despite Theresa May directly blaming Russia for the poisoning.
Moscow strenuously denies poisoning Yulia and her ex-spy father Sergei Skripal four months ago.
Yulia called a woman named only as Diana who is renovating her flat in Moscow and told her ‘she was doing well and that she was due to come to Russia soon’, Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK) newspaper reported.
She also ‘gave a special order’ not to allow her own cousin Viktoria Skripal, 45, access to her flat, the woman was quoted as saying.
The report further claimed Yulia met a close Russian friend called Gulnara in London.
Gulnara was interviewed and exonerated by Scotland Yard after she brought a package of buckwheat from Russia to London around the time the Skripals were poisoned.
She has been ‘in constant touch’ with Stepan Vikeev, 30, Yulia’s mysterious boyfriend who has vanished since the poisoning, MK claimed.
Vikeev was reported to have had connections to the FSB security service.