World

United Kingdom slams 'deeply offensive' interview with Skripal poisoning suspects

United Kingdom slams 'deeply offensive' interview with Skripal poisoning suspects

Boshirov asked, addressing the allegations that the two had carried a Soviet-produced nerve agent allegedly used in the Skripal poisonings in a Nina Ricci perfume box, and smeared some of the contents on the front door of Sergei Skripal's Salisbury home.

In Thursday's interview (Friday NZ time) with the Kremlin-funded RT channel, the suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they were simply tourists catching the sights in Salisbury about the same time as the attack.

"Speaking of straight men, all footage features you two together", the interviewer, Margarita Simonyan, replied.

"These are ordinary citizens".

"The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence", Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.

"When your life [is] turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go".

Ofcom said in April that since the Salisbury attack they had observed "a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code". "It is London's official stance and we regret to say that it is impossible to make any assumptions, unfortunately", he said.

British counterterrorism policing sources were understood to "stand by everything" they had said in naming two individuals from Russian Federation as being responsible for the March attack. "Could say it was eventful", user writing under the name "RuslanBoshirov" said.

Britain's government has accused Petrov and Boshirov of trying to kill the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia.




The men are civilians and "we know who they are", Putin told an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday in his first comments on the United Kingdom allegations. Prosecutors say Petrov and Boshirov work for Russian military intelligence, which President Vladimir Putin has denied. The station said it would air more of the interview later. They said they're partners in a business importing athletic food supplements from Europe.

The two men's story, particularly their claim that they cut their visit short because of cold weather, and a light dusting of snow, was widely mocked by foreign correspondents in Moscow.

The men denied carrying women's perfume after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok and they denied knowing where the Skripals lived.

The two men's actual identities are a matter of dispute. Ms Simonyan made clear the two men, "the real (as far as I can tell) Petrov and Boshirov", had contacted her offering an interview.

The suspects contended that one photo released by British police was incorrect - a security still showing them at separate passport windows at the same time at Gatwick airport.

Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006.

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a shopping mall bench on March 4 in Salisbury, a city about 90 miles west of London.

They spent New Year's Eve in Switzerland and have been to Vienna, the pair said.


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