Several days after being release from hospital, Charlie Rowley revealed in his interview with the British broadcaster ITV that the bottle with the nerve agent, claimed to be Novichok, came in the sealed box of an expensive brand in cellophane wrapper. As it looked like it hadn’t been used he had never suspected that it was unsafe.
The man spent three weeks in a hospital after coming into contact with the poisonous substance, while his partner Dawn Sturgess died. He struggled to remember how he came across the expensive-looking box, but said that he decided to give it as a present to his girlfriend. He even kept it several days at his home several kilometers off Salisbury, where the alleged attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal took place.
“It’s very strange. It’s quite scary to think that something can be disguised in that manner and left to be found in public. It looked expensive, unfortunately it turned out to be a bad find,” he told the media.
After getting the present Sturgess recognized the brand, sprayed what she thought to be perfume on her wrists and rubbed them together, according to Rowley.
He said to the news, that he put the spray part to the bottle and “ended up tipping some on my hands,” but “washed it off under the tap.” According to the Amesbury survivor, it didn’t look and smell like perfume, but rather as an oily substance.
“Within 15 minutes, Dawn said she had a headache. She asked me if I had any headache tablets. In that time she said she felt peculiar and needed to lie down in the bath. I went into the bathroom and found her in the bath, fully clothed, in a very ill state,” he said, recalling the sequence of those events.
Earlier, the Metropolitan Police announced they had found the bottle during the search of Rowley’s house, while scientists confirmed that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok, according to the police statement. But researchers have yet to analyze it to determine whether the poison was from the same batch that had allegedly been used to poison the Skripals.
Meanwhile, the police are to determine how the poisonous bottle ended up in Charlie and Dawn’s possession and whether there are other sources of contamination according to deputy chief constable of Wiltshire police Paul Mills as cited by the Guardian.
However, he declined to comment on the Rowley’s recent revelations about a boxed and sealed bottle with poison, which according to the Guardian, cast a doubt over the line of inquiry, suggesting that the nerve agent had been discarded by the perpetrators of the Salisbury attack.
“It’s very sensitive and the counter-terrorism network has been clear from day one that we’re not going to conduct an ongoing dialogue in relation to the investigation as it would be inappropriate to do so,” the policeman told the media.
Even though the UK counterterrorism office has repeatedly admitted it had no evidence of a link between the Skripal case and the Amesbury incident, a number of high-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson and Security Minister Ben Wallace have accused Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly denied Moscow’s involvement in both the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents.