It seems that hysteria over the Skripal poisoning story in the British media has reached a new level.
In addition to the first two suspects in the Skripal poisoning case, UK authorities are looking for a medic, nicknamed Dr. Novichok, and a fourth individual who allegedly helped Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov carry out the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4th, according to the Sunday Mirror.
“It’s believed they could have met a handler who was working at the embassy and a fourth, the medic, might have had oversight of the whole thing to make sure they didn’t risk ruining the operation by getting themselves contaminated,” the Sunday Mirror cited an unnamed government source as saying. The Sunday Mirror claimed that it can reveal that authorities are keeping details on the other two suspects a secret.
According to the unnamed Whitehall insider, the medic may have been involved to prevent cross-contamination – or even to make sure the NHS and police did not need to be involved if one of the hitmen was accidentally poisoned.
The source said Petrov and Borishov – who claim to be tourists – could have met up with the other two suspects after checking into the City Stay Hotel on Bow Road in East London.
The Sunday Mirror also cited other sources who, on September 15th, said police know the real ID of Petrov and Borishov, despite both of the suspects claiming those are their real names during their interview with RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.
The outlet cited another unnamed insider that said: “They’ve had hundreds of officers trawling CCTV and the facial recognition software meant they could match them with passports used in the years leading up to the attack.”
Both Petrov and Boshirov have also denied the UK’s claims that they were military intelligence agents:
“We are not [working in the GRU]… We are mid-level entrepreneurs. If we tell more about our business, people we work with will suffer, we do not want this,” they said, but added that the business was linked to the fitness industry.
On September 16th, the Sunday Mirror also cited a guest staying in the same hotel who claimed he could smell weed coming from the suspects’ room and said he heard “really loud sex.”
According to unnamed sources, cited by Sunday Mirror, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov partied through the night in a £75 twin room, keeping guests awake in the two-star City Stay Hotel in East London. An angry guest also cited by the outlet said he recognized Petrov from CCTV footage released by police “after bumping into him in a hotel toilet the evening prior to the failed hit.”
He also was cited as saying: “I could smell weed from their room, it was by the door and in the corridor, it was unmistakable. Later there was a woman in there – I think it was a prostitute. They were having sex, definitely. I heard them having really loud sex for a long time.”
He was also cited as saying that he complained to reception about the noise and the cleaner had to spend the next day clearing up their mess.
An elderly local resident who tipped off police about the sighting told the Mirror earlier this month: “There were some men on that playground I remember that, I remember thinking it was odd. They were too old to be in there, looked tough. I thought it was odd at the time but what am I going to do- call police about grown men sitting on a swing. Then Sergei gets poisoned and I began to think oh god was that them? I’ve told the police this before. I think it’s why it got cordoned off. I think they sorted themselves out there, watched for Sergei’s car to go, and got in and out.”
The UK continues to accuse Russia of the alleged Novichok poisoning. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying that neither names, nor photos of the suspected individuals proved that they had any links to Russian military intelligence agencies, with Russian President Vladimir Putin himself saying that the two individuals were civilians and had no relations to GRU.