Russians Accused in UK Poisoning: 'Coincidence' They Were in Salisbury

CNN VAN

CNN VAN

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.

"Salisbury?" their interviewer asked. "But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage", Tweeted John Glen, the Member of Parliament for Salisbury.

Those details are not common knowledge for most Britons, but they are available on the Wikipedia page of the cathedral.

March 4, 4.15pm - Emergency services are called by a passer-by concerned about a man and a woman in Salisbury city centre.

And British journalists have been mocking the story on Twitter, highlighting the improbability of the pair's itinerary and route if they were truly tourists.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Novichok attack and have floated numerous conspiracy theories about who the "real" perpetrators might be.

The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says there is enough evidence to convict the two men, although it is not applying to Russian Federation for their extradition because Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals.

A United Kingdom government spokesperson said the United Kingdom is "clear" that Petrov and Boshirov are agents with Russian military intelligence and slammed the interview as "lies and blatant fabrications".

One user compared Petrov and Boshirov, who said they were businessmen working in the fitness industry, to the burglars in the movie "Home Alone". At the time of the invasion of Crimea, Vladimir Putin insisted that the Russian troops marching across the peninsula were locals who had picked up their army equipment in "military surplus shops".

Boshirov said they "maybe approached Skripal's house" while they walked around the city, "but ... didn't know where it was". Friends had been exhorting them for some time to make the trip, they said.




He and his daughter Yulia became seriously ill, while a police officer on the case was also hospitalized. A British woman died four months later after coming into contact with a perfume bottle containing the chemical weapon.

But despite giving an interview with RT, the pair since seem to have disappeared.

An image from footage released by Scotland Yard police shows suspect Alexander Petrov.

"They demanded that only one camera run during the interview and refused to show their IDs", RT says of the interview carried out by Simonyan. When you go through customs, they check all your belongings.

In the TV broadcast, the men were asked why they went to Salisbury on two different days.

The men denied the allegations and said they visited Salisbury on March 3 for tourism but stayed for 30 minutes only.

The men, who appeared to be about 40, claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived.

"They then travelled on London public transport to Waterloo station and were in the area between approximately 6pm and 7pm". The weather was better on the 4th, Petrov said, so the two returned to see Stonehenge and the cathedral. Leaving Salisbury at approximately 4.10pm and arriving in Bow at approximately 8.05 pm.

The reason their first visit to Salisbury was so brief was because they had been forced to cut it short due to snow.

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