Thursday, January 24th, 2019
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Former Russian spy and woman found critically ill on bench in UK

Detectives probing the suspected poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and the unnamed woman, 33, have obtained an image capturing a couple about half an hour before police were alerted.

Witnesses said Skripal appeared “frozen” and was staring up at the sky before being rushed to hospital, say witnesses.



He “was doing some strange hand movements” as a woman sat next to him on a bench was slumped on his shoulder.
Witnesses told how it appeared Skripal and the woman, who was known to him, “had been taking something quite strong”.

A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin has called the situation a “tragic incident” and said of British media speculation that Russia poisoned Skripal: “It didn’t take them long.”



The incident has drawn comparisons with the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.

The former colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison, was among four convicts who were given pardons and one of two sent to Britain in 2010 in a deal that was said at the time to be the largest exchange since the Cold War.



Eyewitness Freya Church told the BBC it looked like the two people on the bench had taken “something quite strong” and she felt motivated to help, but she wasn’t sure how to.

She said: “On the bench there was a couple, an older guy and a younger girl. She was sort of leant in on him, it looked like she had passed out maybe.

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