Third Russian charged over Novichok poisoning of defector and daughter

London: A third Russian military intelligence officer is set to be charged with attempted murder over the Novichok poisoning of Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England three years ago.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.Credit:AP

Scotland Yard had already identified two Russian military intelligence officers, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, over the attempted assassination of the Skripals that later killed local woman Dawn Sturgess and left the investigating Detective Constable Nick Bailey and Ms Sturgess’ partner Charlie Rowley seriously ill.

On Tuesday, counter-terrorism police said they had enough evidence to charge a third Russian military intelligence officer named Sergey Fedotov, an alias for Denis Sergeev.

Fedotov arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport from Moscow about 11am on March 2, 2018 about four hours before Petrov and Boshirov, the pair who travelled to Salisbury, a town about 130 kilometres south-west of London, to carry out the attempted assassination of the Skripals. They later claimed they had visited the English town to see the local Cathedral’s famous spire.

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Fedetov stayed in a central London hotel for the weekend and met Petrov and Boshirov more than once during that weekend before returning to Moscow from Heathrow about 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

He faces charges of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, possession and use of chemical weapon and causing grievous bodily harm.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said the charges marked another significant development in the investigation.

“Ever since these terrible incidents occurred, we were clear that we would be relentless in our investigation and our pursuit of justice for the victims of the attacks and their families,” he said.

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