Novichok duo’s London ‘night of cannabis and prostitutes’
THE Kremlin assassins who attempted to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the Novichok nerve agent allegedly enjoyed a drug-fuelled night with a prostitute just hours before the Salisbury attack.
Russian agents Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov – who gave an astonishing interview last week claiming to be sightseers – reportedly kept guests awake at their £75-a-night hotel.
Witnesses say cannabis wafted from their twin room in the twostar City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London, as they partied through the night. Furious guests complained to staff after the pair smuggled a prostitute into their room for ‘noisy sex’.
Separate reports suggest that the hitmen were wheeled out for their TV interview as punishment for leaving a trail of evidence.
A Whitehall source told the Sunday Telegraph that the assassins ‘are being thrown under the bus by another agency because they’ve messed up’.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that a passport used by one of the hitmen directly links him to the Russian security services.
Travel documents used by Petrov are marked as ‘top secret’ and include a phone number for the Russian defence ministry.
The finding by the respected investigative website Bellingcat directly contradicts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that Petrov and Boshirov were merely civilians who travelled to Salisbury to see its cathedral.
According to the Sun on Sunday, the hitmen argued with staff the morning after their stay at the City Stay Hotel before setting off to Salisbury on the train to carry out the Novichok attack on Skripal, 67, and his daughter, Yulia, 34.
A guest who recognised the pair from CCTV images released by police told the newspaper: ‘I could smell weed from their room. It was by the door and in the corridor, it was unmistakable. It must have been around 7pm.
‘Later there was a woman in there. I think she was a prostitute. They were having sex. Definitely. I heard them having really loud sex for a long time.
‘It was definitely a woman. I don’t think the men were having sex with each other.’
It has also emerged that Petrov and Boshirov’s passports, which were issued in 2009, provide almost no biographical data about either man before that year, such as residential addresses.
There are also no records of either Petrov or Boshirov having a passport before 2009. This has convinced security experts that Petrov and Boshirov were merely cover identities created by Russia’s GRU military intelligence service for use on foreign operations.
Security sources have told The Mail on Sunday that Scotland Yard and MI6 are sitting on a huge amount of further evidence linking Petrov and Boshirov to the attempt to kill former spy Skripal.
They say this evidence will only be produced if the two Russian agents are brought to trial. They have been charged with conspiracy to murder the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who fell ill after rushing to the aid of the couple after they were found collapsed on March 4.
Last night a Russian government spokeswoman rejected the claims and suggested that Bellingcat must have links to Western intelligence agencies.
Last week Theresa May branded Petrov and Boshirov’s cover stories as ‘lies and blatant fabrication’.
LIES: Suspects Boshirov, left, and Petrov in their TV interview last week