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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

Policeman injured in UK nerve agent attack leaves hospital

A judge today ruled that blood samples from former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who have been left in a coma following the attack, can be released for testing.

Salisbury incident Ben Birchall / PA Images The scene of the Salisbury nerve agent attack Ben Birchall / PA Images / PA Images

THE BRITISH POLICE officer who was exposed to the nerve agent used in the attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital, according to its director.

Officer Nick Bailey “has left the hospital”, said Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia, targets of the 4 March attack in the southern England city of Salisbury, remain in a critical but stable condition, she added.

Bailey said he had been “overwhelmed by the support, cards and messages” in a statement read out by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard.

“The level of support has been unbelievable and I’ve tried to respond to what I can, but I want to say I have really appreciated every single message,” he said.

He paid tribute to the staff at Salisbury District Hospital but asked for a time out of the spotlight to recover.

BRITAIN-RUSSIA-ESPIONAGE AFP / Getty Images Cara Charles-Barks AFP / Getty Images / Getty Images

“I am just a normal person with a normal life, and I don’t want my wife, children, family or I to be part of that attention,” said Bailey.

There are really no words to explain how I feel right now. Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up – and it really has been completely surreal.

A judge ruled earlier today that blood samples from former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia could be taken for testing by the world chemical weapons body (OPCW).

Russia denies all responsibility and the poisoning has plunged relations between London and Moscow into crisis

Pritchard said the investigation was “highly likely to take many months” as he paid tribute to Bailey.

“I have personally been amazed at Nick’s strength and resilience,” he said.

He really is a credit to Wiltshire Police and the wider police family.

© – AFP, 2018

Read: Donald Trump’s lead lawyer in the Russia probe has stepped down

Read: Swedish journalist ‘was strangled or had her throat cut’ on submarine

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