Tests confirm that a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent

Tests confirm that a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent

It's been confirmed that a nerve agent was used to deliberately poison a former Russian double agent and his daughter, in a case that threatens to further damage London's ties with Moscow.

Sergei Skripal, once a colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the southern English city of Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.


Both remain critically ill and a police officer who attended the scene is also in a serious condition in hospital.


"This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder by administration of a nerve agent," London Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters. "I can also confirm that we believe the two people originally who became unwell were targeted specifically."


Rowley said government scientists had identified the specific nerve agent but he would not say what it was because it was part of the investigation. He also declined to give any details about how it was administered to Skripal, 66, and his daughter.


England's chief medical officer said the incident posed a low risk to the wider public but anyone feeling unwell was advised to seek medical advice.


While Rowley would not say any more about the investigation, a U.S. security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the main line of police inquiry was that Russians may have used the substance against Skripal in revenge for his treachery.


Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence before his arrest by Russian authorities in 2004.


He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006 after a secret trial and in 2010 was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged for Russian spies caught in the West as part of a Cold War-style spy swap at Vienna airport.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
Start your relationship

If you are interested in receiving bulletins from Radio News Hub or would simply like to find out more please fill in the form below. We operate on annual contracts - spread the cost is available.

We aim to get back to you within 48 hours