Brits sue third suspect in Skripal case

The United Kingdom Prosecutor‘s Office has charged a third Russian for the attempted murder of former double spy Sergej Skripal. According to the D.A., it is now clear that the three suspects worked for the Russian military secret service GROe.

“We can’t give details, but we have evidence that the three suspects can be linked to the GROe,” said British National Counterterrorism Coordinator Dean Haydon.

An international arrest warrant has been issued against the three, but they are probably in Russia and that country does not have an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom.

Novichchoke Attack

The Russian former double spy Skripal was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichchok in 2018 along with his daughter Joelia. The agent is presumably applied in liquid form on the front door of their home in the English city of Salisbury.

In March of that year, the two were found in unconscious condition on a park bench. Both survived the attack, as did a police officer who came into contact with the drug during an investigation of their home. A woman who found a perfume bottle in which the drug was probably smuggled into the country did die.

Two suspects were already charged in September 2018, Russians who entered the United Kingdom under a false name. The British police now say they are actually named Aleksandr Mishkin and Anatoli Chepiga. They are presumably in Russia at the moment.

The same is probably true of the now charged third suspect, about 50 years old Denis Sergeev. Together with Mishkin and Chepiga, he would have formed a three-headed team sent by the GROe to liquidate Skripal.

The Bellingcat research collective came to the same conclusion in 2019. British police now say Sergeev was in the UK on the weekend of the attack and had regular contact with Mishkin and Chepiga, who carried out the attack. According to Bellingcat, Sergeev was probably in charge of the operation.

Spy Swap

Skripal, a former GROE officer himself, is said to have passed on names of Russian secret agents abroad to the British around the turn of the century. That came true: he was arrested and convicted, but was able to settle in the United Kingdom in 2010 after a spy swap.

Russia denies it has anything to do with the attempted murder of Skripal. Mishkin and Chepiga declared in 2018 under their false names that they were in Salisbury at the time of the attack, but had nothing to do with it.