Britain to ask Russian Federation to extradite suspects in Salisbury attack

Britain to ask Russian Federation to extradite suspects in Salisbury attack

Ministers are preparing to submit an extradition request to Moscow for two suspects responsible for the Salisbury nerve agent attack, as the Government vowed to exert "international pressure" to force Russian Federation to "do the right thing". The statement denied an earlier report about the request by the Guardian.

Police officers in protective suits and masks work near the scene where former double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia were discovered after being attacked with a nerve-agent on March 16, 2018 in Salisbury, England.

United Kingdom intelligence chiefs have specifically blamed Russian Federation for the attack.

But foreign policy experts in Britain say Russian Federation will nearly certainly reject the request.

According to The Guardian, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has prepared the papers required for the process and is ready to file. The diplomatic dispute escalated shortly after the Skipals' poisoning, with Britain and its allies expelling more than a hundred Russian diplomats in protest.

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The Russian Embassy said it had not received an official request.

"This is Litvinenko all over again".

The Russian constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to another state.

Since then, a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died last month after coming across a small bottle containing Novichok near Salisbury where the Skripals were struck down. She had been in hospital for eight days.

In 2007, after Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko was murdered with polonium in London, Moscow refused Britain's request to extradite two Russian suspects in the case. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement and accused the British intelligence agencies of staging the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria. Police are working on the assumption that the bottle was dropped somewhere in the city, where it was later picked up by Rowley, who gave it to Sturgess.

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