Russian ex-spy apparently hospitalized for poisoning
Two people in a British hospital are in critical condition, they may have been poisoned. Media reports include Sergei Skripal, a former spy from Russia. In the city of Salisbury in the south of the UK, a man and a woman suspected of being poisoned by an “unknown substance” were hospitalized at the weekend. The police said on Monday. The man was said to be Sergei Skripal, a former spy from Russia who worked for the British and came to the United Kingdom as part of a 2010 prisoner exchange. The report, inter alia, the BBC and the “Guardian”. According to the newspaper, Skripal was poisoned with fentanyl, a potent opiate.
According to police
the man is about 60 years old. The second person is about his 30-year-old companion. The two are said to be in critical condition. They were discovered unconscious on a park bench near a shopping centre by passers-by on Sunday.
The police spoke of a “serious incident”, a number of authorities had been turned on. It is still unclear whether a criminal offence exists. On TV screens, people in protective suits were seen to clean up the location of the injured. “We want to assure people that we take such incidents extremely seriously,” the police said. Nevertheless, one does not assume that there is a danger to the public.
During the night of Tuesday, the police closed a pizzeria in Salisbury “as a precautionary measure” during the investigation. The authorities did exclude a health risk based on the information available. Nevertheless, the public was asked to report suspected cases of sudden illness immediately.
Sergei Skripal was once the colonel of Russian military intelligence. In 2006, he was sentenced to 13 years in Russia for alleged spying for Britain. In July 2010, the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pardoned him. Following the exchange of prisoners between Moscow, London and Washington, Skripal received asylum in the United Kingdom.