UK names 3rd Russian in poisoning of dissident

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Prosecutors said there is enough evidence to charge Sergey Fedotov with the Skripal attack. AFP

British police on September 21 said there was enough evidence to charge a third Russian man with the Novichok poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury in 2018.

Counter-terrorism detectives said prosecutors had reviewed the evidence against a man identified as Sergey Fedotov for him to be charged with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm, and possession and use of a chemical weapon.

Skripal and his daughter were left fighting for their lives after the attack, which soured diplomatic ties between Britain and Russia that were already strained by the 2006 radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

The former KGB agent accused President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the attack in a letter made public after his death.

Europe’s top rights court ruled that Russia was responsible in a judgment on September 21, prompting a denial from Moscow.

A police officer investigating the Skripal case was also left seriously ill, while a local Salisbury woman who came into contact with the weapons-grade substance later died.

Two other men have previously been identified as suspects in the poisoning. All three are said to be members of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told reporters that the foreign office would raise the issue with the Russian ambassador.