Friday, 4 May 2018

Skripals poisoned with up to 100g of novichok nerve agent, says watchdog

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with up to 100g of the nerve agent novichok, a chemical weapons watchdog has said.
Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the amount of novichok used - around half a cup of liquid - suggests it was created for use as a weapon rather than for research purposes.

The poisoning left Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia fighting for their lives after being found slumped on a bench at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury on 4 March.

Some 250 detectives have been working on the investigation into the attack in the Wiltshire city and have gone through more than 5,000 hours of CCTV and interviewed more than 500 witnesses.

Mr Uzumcu told the New York Times the novichok could have been applied as a liquid or aerosol.

He said: "For research activities or protection you would need, for instance, five to 10 grams or so, but even in Salisbury it looks like they may have used more than that, without knowing the exact quantity, I am told it may be 50, 100 grams or so, which goes beyond research activities for protection.

"It's not affected by weather conditions. That explains, actually, that they were able to identify it after a considerable time lapse."

He said the samples collected suggested the nerve agent was of "high purity".

Russia has vehemently denied that it was behind the attack and relations with the West have become seriously strained.

BBC      News.

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