Skripals to be offered witness protection amid safety fears
BRITISH police are drawing up plans to guarantee the safety of the Salisbury poisoning victims once they are discharged from hospital.
A government source last night told The Sunday Tele- graph that the UK authorities had a “duty of care” to both Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
There are serious concerns the pair’s lives remain at risk after their attempted murder in Wiltshire last month. While Mr Skripal, the 66-year-old former dou- ble agent, became a British citizen when he came to the UK, his daughter remains a Russian citizen.
For Britain to help the pair, a senior police officer will first issue the Skripals with a so-called “Osman warning”, a formal notification that intelligence sug- gests there is a real and immediate “threat to life”.
They may be placed under a witness protection programme that could involve a “safe house” and they might be given round-the-clock armed police protection and even receive new identities.
A government source said “I am sure we will” look at ways to keep them safe.
However, they added that it was “inappropriate to speculate” about the possibility of a safe house.
MI6 officials have also held discussions with their CIA counterparts about resettling the Skripals in the US, said The Sunday
Referring to Ms Skripal, 33, who is thought to be fit enough to be discharged soon, another source said: “We will provide a duty of care to her, as she requests.”