Third suspect in Skripal poisoning is Russian GRU agent - Bellingcat

Denis Sergeev

Denis Sergeev

Mr Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia, 33, were exposed to Novichok after it was sprayed on their front door handle in Salisbury.

The Bellingcat investigative organisation says it has established the identity of an alleged Russian military intelligence officer who was in Britain when a Russian former double agent and his daughter were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.

He survived, but no suspect was ever found. Flight records show Sergeev also travelled to Britain before and after the Brexit referendum in June 2016, including a four-day visit to London from July 14.

Bellingcat said it found evidence that Sergeev had served as the shareholder or managing director of eight Russian "sham" companies, which were all liquidated between 2007 and 2012. They had been poisoned by a Soviet-developed nerve agent and spent months recovering in hospital.

Bellingcat claims Sergeev, travelling as Fedotov, arrived in United Kingdom on a flight from Moscow on March 2, the same day as two other suspects in the case.

Sergeev booked a return flight on Aeroflot's SU 2579 from Heathrow to Moscow in the afternoon of March 4, but allegedly never boarded the flight and was a no-show despite checking in.

Britain has named two alleged Russian military intelligence agents as suspects in the poisoning past year of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

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Bellingcat was the first to identify the men as Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, both of whom worked for Russia's GRU intelligence services.

Dismissing extensive CCTV footage of both men walking to and from the area where the Skripal's lived, they insisted they are not intelligence agents, and that they had simply been on a two-day trip to see Salisbury Cathedral.

Yesterday he was also linked to the botched poisoning of an arms dealer in Bulgaria in 2015.

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said Fedotov had visited Bulgaria three times in 2015 and was there in April when local arms dealer Emilian Gebrev was poisoned.

Russian authorities have denied involvement and Moscow refused to extradite the men to Britain. Check back for the fullest version.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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