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UK authorizes charges against third man in Novichok attack

Stuart Biggs, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

U.K. counter-terrorism charged a third suspect in relation to the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil in 2018.

There is sufficient evidence to charge Sergey Fedotov — who police said is really Denis Sergeev, a member of Russia’s GRU military intelligence — on conspiracy and attempted murder, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement Tuesday.

The U.K. has already demanded the extradition of two other suspects linked to Russia’s GRU who it alleges tried to murder Skripal by spraying the weapons-grade nerve agent “Novichok” on the door handle of his home. The Czech Republic has since blamed the same Russian agents for a deadly blast at an ammunitions depot in 2014. The U.K. and Russia don’t have an extradition agreement.

“If these individuals should ever travel out of Russia, will do all we can to detain them,” Jamie Davies, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, said to journalists on Tuesday.

 

Skripal and his daughter both survived, but another woman later died after coming into contact with the nerve agent. It was the first use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War II, and triggered a diplomatic showdown when the U.K. pointed the finger of blame at Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has always denied its involvement.

Separately, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Russia was responsible for the London killing of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006, backing the conclusion of a U.K. inquiry.

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