They are aiming at Russia but will get to Corbyn

Although the evidence presented by Scotland Yard appears solid, it seems that the main target is the head of the opposition, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Scotland Yard named two Russian nationals, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as suspects in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. The law enforcement officials warned that the names are probably fictitious.

Although the evidence presented by Scotland Yard appears solid, it seems that the main target is the head of the opposition, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

This, in particular, is indicated by the statement of Conservative MP and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: "The whole House will have noted what I'm afraid was the somewhat weaselly language of the Leader of the Opposition in failing to condemn what is now, I think, incontrovertible, in the eyes of all right-thinking people, involvement of the Russian state at the highest level in the Salisbury poisonings."

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a speech before parliament that the suspects were identified as officers of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU). She added that this poisoning "almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state."

The Crown Prosecution Service charged the men with the attempted murder of the Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia Skripal and of a police officer Det. Sgt. Nick Bailey, who became ill while investigating the case. The men were also charged with conspiracy to murder Mr. Skripal, use and possession of the nerve agent and causing grievous bodily harm.

In a press release issued by Scotland Yard it is reported in particular that traces of the nerve agent Novichok were found in the hotel room in eastern London where suspects stayed.

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement that both suspects were believed to be in Russia at present and were thus being charged in absentia. “We will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals," CPS Director of Legal Services Sue Hemming said in the statement. "We have, however, obtained a European Arrest Warrant which means that if either man travels to a country where an EAW is valid, they will be arrested and face extradition on these charges for which there is no statute of limitations."

Russia’s Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement that the British law enforcement agencies refuse to cooperate with their Russian counterparts.

"We continue to insist on cooperation with UK law enforcement agencies on this case and still expect to receive materials with evidence base, which our foreign colleagues claim to have, including regarding the possible involvement of certain Russian citizens in the attempted murder of Skripals," said Prosecutor General's Office spokesman Alexander Kurennoy.

He added that they had twice appealed to the British authorities for legal assistance on the criminal investigation into the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal but received no response.

A similar statement was made by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova.

Published: September 5, 2018