British police on Tuesday charged a third Russian national over the 2018 Novichok poisonings of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.
According to the Metropolitan Police, Sergey Fedotov, also known as Denis Sergeev, worked in conjunction with two other operatives to kill the Skripals and has been charged with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and the possession and use of a chemical weapon.
“A third man known as ‘Sergey Fedotov’ was identified and evidence relating to this individual was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Prosecutors from the CPS Counter Terrorism Division considered the evidence and they have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is clearly in the public interest to charge Sergey Fedotov,” a police statement said.
“Police enquiries uncovered evidence to show that ‘Sergey Fedotov’ is an alias for ‘Denis Sergeev’ and that he is a member of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU. Evidence gathered also shows that ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ and ‘Alexander Petrov’ are aliases for ‘Anatoliy Chepiga’ and ‘Alexander Mishkin’ respectively and that these individuals are members of the GRU,” the statement added.
Detectives who have been investigating the Novichok poisonings that took place in 2018 also uncovered evidence confirming the real identities of the two suspects that Fedotov worked with. Alexander Petrov, alias Alexander Mishkin, and Ruslan Boshirov, alias Anatoliy Chepiga, previously worked together for the Russian GRU and were handed down the same charges.
Evidence uncovered by the investigation showed that the three men met on more than one occasion in London with Fedotov leaving the UK on the day of the poisonings.
Mishkin and Boshirov were charged shortly after the 2018 Novichok poisoning in Salisbury and Amesbury that also saw two Britons poisoned by the same chemical nerve agent.
The three operatives are now wanted by UK law enforcement agencies and arrest warrants are out. Although Mishkin and Boshirov are on the Interpol wanted list, notices will commence for Fedotov on Tuesday.
Police are also appealing to the public for any further information relating to the 2018 murders and the three operatives.
“Whilst public attention gradually moved away from what happened in Salisbury and Amesbury, the investigation team has remained absolutely focused, meticulously poring over the evidence and building our case. This has been one of the most complex investigations ever undertaken in Counter Terrorism policing and the skill, professionalism and dedication shown by everyone involved has been remarkable,” said Dean Haydon, head of the investigation.
On March 2018, former KGB spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were murdered by the highly toxic Novichok chemical nerve agent in the town of Salisbury. Two British nationals, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were admitted to hospital in the town of Amesbury after they were also poisoned by the same agent.
Although the pair were discharged from the hospital, Sturgess later succumbed to the poisoning and died three months after the attack in July.