U.K. to ask Russia to extradite nerve agent attack suspects

Elias Hubbard
August 9, 2018

Britain is expected to request the extradition of two Russians accused of committing a nerve agent attack against a Russian double agent in southern England, British daily newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday.

Government officials and prosecutors would not confirm details of the Guardian report when queried by dpa.

London blamed Russian Federation of being behind the Skripal attacks in the weeks after the incident, a charge Russian Federation has categorically denied.

The move follows a months-long investigation by British police and intelligence officers who believe they have identified two culprits and pieced together their movements in the United Kingdom earlier this year, the Guardian reported.

Since then, a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died last month after coming across a small bottle containing Novichok near Salisbury where the Skripals were struck down.

Two Russians are said to have been identified as suspects in the attack which left one person dead and three injured.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which prepared the extradition request, has completed the process and is ready to file, the sources said.

The request seems certain to be rejected by Russian Federation, and could further inflame the diplomatic row between the two companies. The Russian constitution prevents the extradition of Russian citizens to another state.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2007, President Vladimir Putin rejected an extradition request for two Russians suspected of the assassination of the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London using radioactive polonium.

Russian Federation retaliated by expelling Western diplomats.

Later Dawn Sturgess and her boyfriend Charlie Rowley were exposed to the chemical.

Rowley said he had found a perfume bottle that he gave to Sturgess, which she sprayed on her wrists.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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