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Police release images of Russian men and fake perfume bottle involved in fatal nerve agent attack

Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found poisoned in the English city of Salisbury in early March.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 5th 2018, 1:25 PM

Presentation1 Met Police 'Alexander Petrov' and 'Ruslan Boshirov' Met Police

UK POLICE HAVE released photos of the two Russian men charged with the use of a nerve agent in Britain in March which saw three hospitalised and the death of one woman.

The Metropolitan Police has released a detailed timeline of the movements of ‘Alexander Petrov’ and ‘Ruslan Boshirov’, the names used by the two Russian men, on the weekend of 3 and 4 March.

Prime Minister Theresa May has now stated that the two men were members of Russia’s “military intelligence service” acting on orders from the Russian state.

“Based on a body of intelligence the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police… are officers of the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU,” she said today.

So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.

British prosecutors have today charged both with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Subsequently, two residents of the nearby town of Amesbury, Charlie Rowley and his partner Dawn Sturgess, were taken ill, with Sturgess later dying.

The Crown Prosecution Service says Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are charged in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok.

CO1416-2018-CCTV6 Met Police The two men, pictured walking through Salisbury on the afternoon of 4 March 2018 Met Police

Prosecutor Sue Hemming said today that the UK is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country’s citizens.

Police say the men, both about 40, flew from Moscow to London on Russian passports two days before the Skripals were poisoned on 4 March.

A fake perfume bottle recovered by police has now been cited as the probable receptacle used to deliver the Novichok to the Skripals’ front door.

CO1416-2018-Bottle Met Police The fake perfume bottle used in the attack Met Police

The police have also confirmed that they believe beyond all reasonable doubt that the incidents involving the Skripals and Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess are connected, due to the improbability of one of the world’s rarest chemical weapons appearing twice in two separate locations in close proximity to each other.

The Met have now issued domestic and European arrest warrants for the two men, and have asked anyone who may have seen them at the time of the attack to contact them.

With AP