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'We were tourists in Salisbury', say UK poisoning suspects

IANS  |  Moscow 

Two men accused of a attack on former Russian and his daughter in the UK claimed on Thursday that they visited the city where the assault took place as tourists and not to poison the pair.

The men, named and Ruslan Boshirov, told the Kremlin-backed network that they made a brief trip to Salisbury because "our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town" and mentioned the city's historic cathedral.

They said they returned to from the city within an hour and had nothing to do with the attack on Skripals, who were poisoned when the men were in Salisbury on March 4.

British prosecutors said last week they had "sufficient evidence" to charge the two Russian nationals in connection with the incident. Prosecutors say the Skripals came into contact with Novichok, a military-grade

The UK has described them as agents of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

The two men said they had visited England purely to see tourist sites such as "We came there on March 2, then went to a railway station to see the timetable," Petrov said, according to "We arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow."

The two men denied having Novichok or any poison with them. They said they were not GRU agents, instead they were in the fitness industry.

On Wednesday, Russian said "there was nothing criminal about them and that they were civilians".

Skripal and his daughter fell critically ill but recovered after weeks of intensive care in hospital. Their current whereabouts were being kept secret, the reported.

The linked the attack to a separate Novichok poisoning on June 30, when a couple, and Charlie Rowley, fell ill at a house in Amesbury.

Asked about Novichok, the men denied having it with them and also denied carrying the modified perfume bottle which, UK investigators say, contained the substance.

"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume? The customs are checking everything, they would have questions as to why men have women's perfume in their luggage. We didn't have it," Boshirov said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, September 13 2018. 18:34 IST