Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Spy Poison Case: Suspects say They were in United Kingdom as Tourists

Spy Poison Case: Suspects say They were in United Kingdom as Tourists

This week, the two men appeared on RT to assert their innocence and claimed they were visiting the small town of Salisbury not to expose Skripal to the nerve agent Novichok, but to check out a cathedral.

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Petrov and Boshirov also told Russian state-funded news channel RT they planned their trip to the "wonderful" city in Wiltshire after recommendations from friends. While they may have passed the former agent Sergey Skripal's home, "we don't know where it's located", Boshirov said. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London, they told RT, Russia's state-run worldwide broadcaster.

Southwestern Railway confirmed to Sky News there were engineering works that weekend and no direct trains from London to Salisbury, so they would have had to change at Basingstoke.

A handout picture taken at Salisbury train station in Salisbury, west of London on March 3, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov.

A British couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, came into contact with the same nerve agent in a town near Salisbury months later.

Two Russian men identified by British police as the perpetrators of a nerve agent attack on British soil insist that they're innocent.

"More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack", he said.

The pair said their lives were turned upside down after they were publicly named by United Kingdom police. Police released CCTV footage purporting to show them leaving at 1.50pm.

"We went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere", Petrov said, referring to local landmarks.

He added he was delighted that the Russians were able to see "the world class attractions Salisbury has to offer".

The UK has described them as agents of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

'We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March.

Putin said Russian officials "know who these people are" and called on the two men to talk to the media and "tell about themselves".

Petrov, in Thursday's interview, said they went back on Sunday, March 4, the same date the Skripals were found slumped on a bench poisoned with Novichok.

The accusation that they are part of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, was "the scariest thing" about the incident, Petrov said, according to the translation by RT. "We didn't have it".

Confusion also persists around the UK's claims that that the names Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov are merely aliases, and separate reports that they had traveled under specially issued passports. She asked why they spent so much time together, insinuating that perhaps they were gay. Here we look at four key claims made about their time in southern England. Sadly, it is what we have come to expect. On one Russian language Donald Trump parody account, the user posted a screenshot from "Brokeback Mountain", the 2005 film about a same-sex relationship, with the caption "Let's go to Salisbury!" How did it happen?

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