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Salisbury poisoning: Skripals 'were under Russian surveillance'

 Posted on July 5, 2018 12:00 AM

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were being monitored by the Russian authorities in the months before their poisoning, BBC Newsnight understands. The government alleged, in a letter to Nato, that the Russian authorities had hacked into Yulia's email account in 2013. I understand briefings given to UK ministers and allied governments suggested it went well beyond this. Sergei and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury in March. With the police investigation not saying whether it has identified any suspects, four months after the Salisbury incident, the UK government's case against Russia is still based largely on secret intelligence. Both former spy Sergei, and his daughter, had been monitored for some time before March this year - something found out after the poisoning. Yulia's mobile phone has since been closely studied for signs of malware that could have allowed it to be used to track her whereabouts. Questions remain though about whether any of the surveillance of her and her father was detected before the attempt, and should have prompted an increased level of protection. What happened to Sergei and Yulia Skripal? Skripal 'regretted being double agent' What are Novichok agents and what do they do? Nerve agent 'used to try to kill' Sergei Skripal The other main reason why the government blamed Russia rests with the identification of so-called Novichok nerve agent and its specific chemical properties. Experts from the OPCW international watchdog were invited to Salisbury to take samples in late March. They confirmed the UK's identification of the agent in the unclassified section of their report, which emphasised the high purity of the agent used to poison the Skripals. (NEWS BY BBC NEWS)

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