2018-07-09 12:38:25 UTC
The UK’s top counter-terrorism officer says police are unable to confirm whether the Novichok nerve agent to which a couple was exposed in Amesbury was from the same batch used to poison the Skripals in Salisbury last March.
“We are police officers and we need to work on evidence so I would need a clear forensic link,” Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu said on Monday.
Scotland Yard makes statement after #Amesbury chemical death - WATCH LIVE: https://www.rt.com/on-air/432371-scotland-yard-amesbury-incident/ …
The death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, from exposure to a nerve agent. She and her partner Charlie Rowley were hospitalized after both fell seriously ill in what was initially believed to be a drug-related incident. Last week Scotland Yard announced that scientists at Porton Down had established that Novichok was the cause of their sudden illness.
Speaking after Sturgess passed away on July 8, Basu told the media he “cannot offer any guarantees” and urged people to follow Public Health England advice to avoid picking up discarded containers or syringes.
He added that Sturgess and Rowley’s reactions were so severe that it’s believed they came into contact with a high dose of Novichok after handling an infected container which detectives are now seeking.
"The investigation must be led by the evidence available and the facts alone. Our focus and priority at this time is to identify and locate any container that we believe may be the source of the contamination,” Basu said.
According to Basu, 21 other people screened for Novichok exposure have been given the all-clear.
Police are still following the line of inquiry that the Novichok used in both incidents was from the same batch, but have no evidence to support this as of now.
"As I’ve said before, there is no evidence that either Dawn or Charlie visited any of the sites that were decontaminated following the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”