UK po­lice find ‘small bot­tle’ con­tain­ing Novi­chok nerve agent

The Hitavada - - HOME & ABROAD -

BRI­TISH po­lice said on Fri­day they have found a “small bot­tle” con­tain­ing the Soviet-made nerve agent Novi­chok in the home of one of two Bri­tons who fell ill from the sub­stance last month.

“On Wed­nes­day, 11 July, a small bot­tle was re­cov­ered dur­ing searches of Char­lie Row­ley’s house in Ames­bury,” po­lice said in a state­ment, four months af­ter a for­mer Rus­sian spy and his daugh­ter were poi­soned with the same sub­stance.

“Sci­en­tists have now con­firmed to us that the sub­stance con­tained within the bot­tle is Novi­chok,” the state­ment said, adding that the test were car­ried out at the Por­ton Down de­fence lab­o­ra­tory which first iden­ti­fied the sub­stance.

Row­ley, 45, and his part­ner Dawn Sturgess, 44, col­lapsed at his house within hours of each other on June 30.

Sturgess died on Sun­day, while Row­ley has re­gained con­scious­ness and is no longer in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Po­lice said they had been able to speak to him “briefly”.

The in­ci­dent came af­ter for­mer spy Sergei Skri­pal and his daugh­ter Yu­lia, who have both since re­cov­ered, col­lapsed on a bench on March 4 in the nearby city of Sal­is­bury, south-west England, spark­ing an in­ter­na­tional diplo­matic cri­sis af­ter Bri­tain blamed Rus­sia for the at­tack. Moscow has strongly de­nied any in­volve­ment in the poi­son­ing.

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