The Salisbury suspects’ explanations for their visit could be true, says former British Ambassador

The Salisbury suspects’ explanations for their visit could be true, says former British Ambassador

Monday, September 17, 2018

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray has said that the Novichok suspects’ explanations for being in Salisbury could be “very true”.

Mr Murray, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan told talkRADIO’s George Galloway: “They did seem to me extremely nervous and not entirely plausible in everything they said but there are a number of possibilities for why they would be nervous and why they would have something to hide.

“Not all those possibilities have something to do with Novichok.”

The Prime Minister told MPs on 6 September, the attack in Salisbury was carried out by two Russian spies and sanctioned at a “senior level” by Vladimir Putin’s regime.

She said investigations have concluded that the two suspects are members of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, and it was not a “rogue operation”.


'All of them could be true'

George Galloway has been sceptical of the Government’s assessment of the Salisbury attack, which and the charging of two Russian men for it.

He said: “The mass media response, a whirlwind of which you were a primary victim, ridiculed the idea that some of their explanations of their visit could be true.

“But, you have established in the last 24 hours that actually all of them could be true.”

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that Russia was behind the attack in March.

The two Russian men suspected of carrying out the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal gave their first interview to Russian state-funded news outlet Russia Today last Thursday.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov contacted the outlet’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, after Vladimir Putin stated on Wednesday that there was “nothing criminal” about the men, and urged them to reach out to the media.

Their names were thought to be pseudonyms, but the two men claimed that they were their real names.


‘Ridicule heaped upon it’

Mr Murray said it was “very true” that he had established that the Russian suspects’ claims could be true.

He added: “In particular, they say they went to Salisbury to go to Stonehenge on the Saturday but they found it closed.

“And, it is in fact true. English Heritage confirmed Stonehenge was closed by snow on the Saturday.

“They say they returned the next day and they didn’t say on the Sunday they were blocked from going by snow.

“They said on Sunday there had been heavy sleet and rain so when they got there because they got soaked through, and wet and cold, they abandoned their additional ideas of what they were going to do.

“All that fits with what the actual weather was despite the ridicule heaped upon it.”