Theresa May today blasted Russia’s novichok assassins after they claimed to be tourists stuck in Salisbury and called their story ‘lies and blatant fabrication’.
The Prime Minister said the suspects, who used the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to get into Britain, had ‘insulted the public’s intelligence’ and had been ‘deeply offensive to victims’. Today the suspected GRU agents, believed to be from Siberia, told state TV station RT they were only wandering around Salisbury after failing to get to Stonehenge because of snow. In the ‘absurd’ interview the men even admitted they may have ended up at Sergei Skripal’s suburban home by accident while looking for the cathedral, which has a 400ft spire and is 25 minutes in the other direction. The pair also refused to say why they booked into an east London hotel 127 miles away – or why it contained traces of novichok – and failed to explain why they appeared to have no luggage when they hastily travelled home to Russia. Body language expert Judy James told MailOnline the men appeared to recite ‘a script’ while others said their description of Salisbury and its landmarks bore a remarkable resemblance to the city’s Wikipedia page. Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT even suggested the suspects weren’t trained killers – hinting they were gay lovers on a romantic break because they had ‘little beards, short haircuts and tight pants’. The PM’s spokesman said today: ‘The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview, given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station, are an insult to the public’s intelligence, and more importantly they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack.
The two Skripal suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov have spoken out for the first time and say they were just tourists enjoying the delights of Salibury Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have been accused by British police of being two Russian spies. During their brazen TV appearance the men claimed they now fear for their lives and demanded an apology from Britain and RT said they were so nervous they needed Cognac before going on air The pair claim they were only in Salisbury for an hour because of gaps in the Sunday train service to London and said if they stumbled upon Sergei Skripal’s suburban house it was only by accident Alexander Petrov, right in CCTV footage, and Ruslan Boshirov, left, were named by British authorities as the suspects but insisted they are victims of a smear and were merely on holiday Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok after it was smeared on his front door One of the spies admitted they may have got lost and accidentally ended up near Skripal’s house and said their trip to Salisbury as tourists was hampered by snow so they ‘left early’ on March 4 – the day the Skripals fell ill ‘Sadly it is what we have come to expect. An illegal chemical weapon has been used on the streets of this country, we have seen four people left seriously ill in hospital and an innocent woman has died. Theresa May blasted the suspects’ story and called it an insult to Britain and especially the people of Salisbury ‘Russia has responded with contempt. The police have set out very clearly the evidence against these two men, they are wanted men and we have taken all steps to ensure they are apprehended and brought to justice in the UK if they ever again step foot outside of Russia.’
Scotland Yard says it was aware of statements made ‘by two men’ and reiterated ‘Alexander Petrov’ and ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ are ‘wanted’. After the extraordinary interview today, it also emerged: Experts say there are gaping holes in their story and body language expert tells MailOnline the men appeared reciting ‘guide book monologues’ about Salisbury; PM’s spokesman says that the interview is ‘obfuscation and lies’ to claim the suspected Russian spies went to Salisbury twice in two days as tourists; Scotland Yard says the suspects are still wanted – and insist the two men are using aliases; Two novichok suspects say they fear that British secret services may be planning to assassinate them; They have also accused UK police of hiding CCTV at Salisbury cathedral and other tourist spots to pin attack on them; Russian media suggests that the men, who had ‘fashionable beards’ and tight trousers, may have been gay men on a long weekend to Britain rather than a murder mission; ‘Absurd’ claims of the novichok assassins: Observers point out several holes in pair’s ‘innocent tourists’ story The ‘accidental’ visit to Skripal’s home CCTV released by police places the two suspects at Sergei Skripal’s suburban house. Today the men admitted they may have ended up there – but claimed it was an accident. The property, which had novichok smeared on the door, is 25 minutes away from the city centre and its cathedral – which the men said they were there to see. Ruslan Boshirov said: ‘Maybe we passed it, or maybe we didn’t. I’d never heard about them before this nightmare started. I’d never heard this name before. I didn’t know anything about them’.
Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons last week that CCTV evidence ‘clearly’ places the two Russians in the vicinity of the Skripals’ house shortly before the attack on them. The Met Police released photographs of the elaborate ruse used by the Russian agents including a perfect reconstruction of packaging to transport the weapon A timeline of the key developments in the Salisbury poisoning case 2010 – Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer jailed for spying for Britain, is released and flown to the UK as part of a swap with Russian agents caught in the United States. Britain’s most wanted men speak to RT and claim to be humble tourists