SPY BOSSES IN HUNT FOR ‘DOC NOVI­CHOK’

Medic and min­der ‘in poi­son plot’

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - EX­CLU­SIVE BY ALAN SELBY alan.selby@mir­ror.co.uk

A MEDIC dubbed Dr Novi­chok ac­com­pa­nied poi­son­ers who struck in Sal­is­bury, in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve.

Se­cu­rity ser­vices are pur­su­ing a doc­tor and a fourth man thought to have pro­tected two Rus­sian hit­men who tar­geted ex-spy Sergei Skri­pal.

The rev­e­la­tion comes days af­ter the iden­ti­ties of the men sus­pected of the failed hit were given as Rus­lan Bor­ishov and Alexan­der Petrov – though they are be­lieved to be as­sumed names.

The Sun­day Mir­ror can re­veal au­thor­i­ties are keep­ing a close hold on de­tails of the other two sus­pects.

A White­hall in­sider said the medic may have been in­volved to pre­vent cross-con­tam­i­na­tion – or even to make sure the NHS and po­lice did not need to be in­volved if one of the hit­men was ac­ci­den­tally poi­soned.

The source said Petrov and Bor­ishov – who claim to be tourists – could have met up with the other two sus­pects af­ter check­ing into the City Stay Ho­tel on Bow Road in East Lon­don. They later caught trains from Water­loo to Sal­is­bury, where deadly Novi­chok was daubed on the door of the house where Skri­pal and daugh­ter Yu­lia were stay­ing.

The source said: “It’s be­lieved they could have met a han­dler who was work­ing at the em­bassy and a fourth, the medic, might have had over­sight of the whole thing to make sure they didn’t risk ru­in­ing the op­er­a­tion by get­ting them­selves con­tam­i­nated.”

Other sources yes­ter­day said po­lice know the real ID of Petrov and Bor­ishov.

An in­sider said: “They’ve had hun­dreds of of­fi­cers trawl­ing CCTV. The fa­cial recog­ni­tion soft­ware meant they could match them with pass­ports used in the years lead­ing up to the at­tack.”

Ex-spy Sergei, 67, and Yu­lia, 34, were poi­soned but even­tu­ally made a full re­cov­ery. But Dawn Sturgess, 44, died later af­ter han­dling poi­son dumped in a per­fume bot­tle.

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice said: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­mains on­go­ing and it would there­fore be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to dis­cuss spe­cific lines of en­quiry.”

SUS­PECT 1 PetrovSUS­PECT 2 Bor­ishov

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