12:56 GMT +323 April 2018
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    Police officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018

    UK Police Say Identified Hundreds of Witnesses in Russian ex-Spy Poisoning Case

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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (215)
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The UK counterterrorism police identified more than 240 witnesses and over 200 pieces of evidence as part of investigation into the poisoning of Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Saturday.

    On Monday, the UK police said that a man and a woman were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. Both of them were "in a critical condition" and are being treated for suspected exposure to an unknown substance. It was later confirmed by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the man was Skripal, who was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after a US-Russia spy exchange, while the woman was his daughter, Yulia.

    "Counterterrorism police, investigating the Salisbury suspected nerve agent attack, have identified over 240 witnesses and are looking at more than 200 pieces of evidence," Rudd said.

    The secretary pointed out that police were carrying out a massive and substantial investigation.

    "This is a serious, substantial investigation. We need to give the police and the investigators the space to get on with that… I want to stress that they are proceeding with speed and professionalism. We are putting in enormous resources to ensure that they have all the support that they need to do that," Rudd added.

    In 2006, Skripal was sentenced in Russia to 13 years in prison for cooperating with the UK Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and transferring names of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe. In 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree pardoning Skripal, with the latter then moving to the United Kingdom.

    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin had no information on what could have caused the incident and noted that Moscow was open for cooperation.

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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (215)

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    poisoning, investigation, nerve agent, Sergey Skripal, Russia, United Kingdom
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