Novi­chok duo’s London ‘night of cannabis and pros­ti­tutes’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - The Agent Boot File - By Mark Ni­col DE­FENCE EDITOR

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

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