Russia identifies 2 suspects in Skripal poisoning case - Putin

Leroy Wright
September 14, 2018

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia knew the real identity of two men accused by British prosecutors of trying to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain.

"I call on them to appear before the media and tell their story", Putin said, according to Russia's embassy in the U.K. Putin spoke Wednesday in Vladivostok, Russia, where he is holding an economic summit with other leaders.

United Kingdom authorities believe Ruslan Boshirov and Petrov poisoned the former 67-year-old double agent and his daughter with the lethal nerve agent Novichok on March 4 this year.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the plenary session titled "The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities" as part of the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island in Vladivostok, Sept. 12, 2018. "I hope they will come forward and tell about themselves". This would be best for everyone. "There's nothing especially criminal there, I assure you". "We'll see in the near future", he was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency.

Putin urged the two men to speak to the journalists.

Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of London, on March 4.

In response to the charges last week, the Russian foreign ministry said that the names and the photographs of the accused "mean nothing to us".

Paul Manafort expected to plead guilty, avoid second trial
District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "It shows you've admitted your guilt", he said on Friday before a deal was announced. Another approach would be for him to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon.

Officials said the suspects had been identified as members of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

Prime Minister Theresa May said intelligence showed the poisonings were state-sponsored by Russian Federation.

British prosecutors last week charged the two suspects, who are likely to have traveled under aliases, in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and use of Novichok.

The police said that Sturgess and Rowley were later exposed to the nerve agent after handling a contaminated container, labelled as Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume.

Russian state media has reported that a man named Alexander Petrov worked for a pharmaceuticals company in the Siberian city of Tomsk and has denied any involvement in the case. Police posted detailed surveillance camera images tracking the two men moving through crowded British transport hubs, allegedly carrying the military-grade poison.

In the months following the attack, Britain and other countries pointed the finger of blame at Russian Federation but the nation has denied any involvement.

They said they would not formally demand the men's extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens, but have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for the pair.

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