Russian spy poisoning search moves to Skripal's car

Spy Incident - Sergei Skripal BMW BMW at Ashley Wood Recovery (Spire FM)

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 9:59am 9th March 2018. (Updated at 1:30pm 9th March 2018)

A vehicle recovery centre on Salisbury's Churchfields Ind. Estate is being examined as part of the investigation into the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the city.

A vehicle recovery centre on Salisbury's Churchfields Industrial Estate has been searched as part of the widening investigation into the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the city.

It's believed the building at Ashley Wood Recovery was searched overnight, with a maroon-coloured BMW beloning to Sergei Skripal seen at the site.

Former double agent Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain in "a very serious condition" at Salisbury District Hospital after they were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury's Maltings Shopping Centre on Sunday evening (4th March).

Salisbury based Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who's 38, is in a serious condition but is now "talking and engaging" with people, according to Wiltshire Police's Chief Constable Kier Pritchard.

OFFICER POISONED AFTER TRACING STEPS:

DS Bailey is believed to have been the first person at the scene, although there are now suggestions he may have become ill after retracing Mr Skripal's steps from his home in Salisbury.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has said all the evidence points to the nerve agent attack being ordered by the Kremlin.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who is in Salisbury this morning (Fri 9th March) and has visited the scene and spoken to investigators, has called the attack "brazen".

Ashley Wood Recovery searched maroon-coloured BMW beloning to Sergei Skripal

Spy incident - Ashley Wood Recovery - Sergei Skripal car

 

Spy incident - Ashley Wood Recovery

Mr Skripal served four years of a 13-year sentence in Russia after he was caught spying for MI6 and was released as part of a spy exchange in 2010, when he was given refuge in the UK.

The first area to be cordoned off was Zizzi's Italian restaurant in central Salisbury, where Mr Skripal and his daughter dined on Sunday.

On Thursday, police revealed 21 people had been treated in public, including emergency service workers and members of the public.

Officers also widened the search area, placing forensics tents in front of and at the rear of Mr Skripal's home.

They have also begun a fresh fingertip search of the house.

Sky News' West of England correspondent, Rebecca Williams, said there was a lot of activity at the house and that it was a fast-moving investigation.

She added that police are focusing on identifying a man and a woman seen yards away from where the pair collapsed.

GRAVES CORDONED:

At Salisbury's London Road cemetery there is also a cordon around the graves of Mr Skripal's son, Alexandr, and his wife, Lyudmila, who died in suspicious circumstances in 2017 and 2012 respectively.

So far there is no indication any bodies could be exhumed but it could be part of the investigation, Sky News understands.

Detectives have not yet revealed what kind of chemical was used.

But experts believe any possible compounds used "are part of a type of chemical agent made specifically for warfare", counter-terrorism expert Andy Oppenheimer told Sky News.

Russian exile Valery Morozov told Sky News Mr Skripal had been in contact with the Russia and visited its London embassy once a month.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with all the victims, and praised the response of the emergency services.

She said the incident was "a stark reminder, if ever one was needed, of the dangerous situations our emergency services face and the dedication and courage they display every day in order to keep us safe".

The Home Secretary threatened a "robust" response to the "brazen and reckless act" committed on UK soil.

Ms Rudd said the poisoning "was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way".

While she said speculation must be avoided, she said "people are right to want to know who to hold to account".

She said the Government is "committed to doing all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice - whoever they are and wherever they may be".

The Kremlin has insisted it is not involved, and said any allegations are a plot to whip up anti-Russian sentiment.

President Vladimir Putin has yet to respond to the news that nerve agent was involved in the poisoning.

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