Reports: UK to seek extradition of assassins responsible for novichok attack

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-07 18:52:39|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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LONDON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The British government is planning to seek the extradition from Russia of two suspects identified as the would-be assassins who carried out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on a former Russian agent and his daughter, British media claimed Tuesday.

There has been no official confirmation on the extradition move from Downing Street or the British Foreign Office.

The Times newspaper alleged in reports that detectives from the Metropolitan Police in London are understood to be confident they have identified the would-be assassins who used a perfume bottle containing the deadly poison novichok in their unsuccessful attempt to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, aged 33, in March.

Mother of three, Dawn Sturgess, aged 44, died last month after coming into contact with the perfume bottle containing novichok thought to have been discarded by the Skripals' attackers.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, was left seriously ill from the effects of the nerve agent but was discharged from hospital.

Moscow has categorically denied all accusations over the novichok attacks.

The Times reports said that an extradition application would reignite a diplomatic row with the Russian government who have denied any state involvement in the novichok attack in Salisbury.

The reports claimed Russian suspects are thought to have been identified after detectives cross-checked closed-circuit television tapes recording people entering Britain around the time of the attack.

"Security sources confirmed that detectives had been working towards an extradition request. Officials from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are believed to have been drawing up the papers," said the Times.

Whitehall sources told the newspaper that it was one option and no final decision had been taken to issue a warrant. Sources played down the chance of it being imminent, with one government source suggesting that no such extradition was planned.

Other newspapers, including the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph also reported on the extradition moves.