Two Russians Charged With Attempted Murder of Spy, Daughter

U.K. authorities believe the suspects are Russian military intelligence officers.

Sergei Skripal
Police officers put on protective clothing in a tent outside a vehicle recovery centre as investigations continue into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal on March 13, 2018 in Salisbury, England. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
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British authorities charged two men that they believe are Russian military intelligence officers with the attempted murder of a former spy and his daughter in March, reports The Wall Street Journal. The attempted poisoning prompted the largest-ever collective expulsion of Russian diplomats from the West. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who likely traveled to the U.K. under aliases, have been charged with four offenses related to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, who had moved to Great Britain in 2010 through a spy exchange with Moscow. The charges include conspiracy to murder and the use and possession of nerve agent Novichok.

The U.K. said it would not seek extradition of the two men, since the Russian constitution forbids it. However, a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained, so the men can be arrested if they set foot in the European Union. Moscow denies the attack.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was almost certainly authorized at “a senior level” of the Russian state, reports WSJ, adding that the U.K. government concluded the spies are officers Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU.

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