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British police charge 3rd suspect with poisoning ex-Russian spy, 3 others

British police charge 3rd suspect with poisoning ex-Russian spy, 3 others
Metropolitan Police said Tuesday that records show that Denis Sergev stayed at a London hotel in March 2018 and likely met with two other conspirators before the poisonings. Photo courtesy Metropolitan Police/UPI

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- British authorities announced on Tuesday that they have charged a third person in the poisonings of four people three years ago -- which seriously sickened former spy Sergei Skripal and killed a woman.

The victims were sickened by the nerve agent novichok in Salisbury, Britain, in March and July of 2018. Skripal and his adult daughter Yulia were poisoned first, and former police officer Nick Bailey and Dawn Sturgess came into contact with the substance later. Sturgess eventually died.

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Britain's Metropolitan Police said Tuesday that Russian military intelligence officer Denis Sergev was one of the conspirators. Prosecutors charged two other suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, in 2018. They are also believed to be Russian intelligence officers.

Authorities said Petrov and Boshirov sprayed novichok, which was produced by the former Soviet Union, on the front door of the Skripals' home. Both Skripal and his daughter became seriously ill, but both recovered.

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Tuesday, Metropolitan Police said that records show that Sergev stayed at a London hotel in March 2018 and likely met with the other two conspirators on multiple occasions.

Sergev ultimately left Britain for Moscow on March 4. Police said they believe he was the ground commander for the poisoning operation.

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"This marks another significant development in our investigation," Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said in a statement. "Ever since these terrible incidents occurred, we were clear that we would be relentless in our investigation and our pursuit of justice for the victims of the attacks and their families.

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"We continue to appeal to the public for any information that might assist with our investigation."

Sergev has been charged with conspiracy to kill Sergei Skripal, attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and illegal possession and use of a chemical weapon.

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