The British government has prepared a request for the extradition of two Russians as part of the case on poisoning of former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, his daughter Julia, as well as Britain nationals Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, the Guardian reports this citing its sources. The Guardian newspaper earlier on Monday was about to make such a request.
Former double agent Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia were in intensive care for several weeks after being poisoned with the chemical substance at his home in Salisbury in March.
The move was reciprocated by Moscow. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisonings, but United Kingdom intelligence chiefs have continued to accuse the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself of signing off on the attacks. The Russian embassy in Britain said it had not received an official request from London.
The Crown Prosecution Service prepared the extradition request and is ready to file, according to the Guardian. It's nearly a rerun of the situation.
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Whitehall sources told the paper that authorities had identified two people they were ready to put on trial. The Russian constitution prevents the extradition of Russian citizens to another state. She had been in hospital for eight days.
Russian officials refused to hand over suspects who Britain claimed were responsible for the murder of Aleksandr Litvinenko with a rare radioactive isotope in 2006. Police are working on the assumption that the bottle was dropped somewhere in the city, where it was later picked up by Rowley, who gave it to Sturgess.
While the request is nearly certain to be rejected out of hand by the Russian authorities, it will likely reignite the bitter diplomatic row which erupted following the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in March.