UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has deleted his recent tweet in which he claimed that the "true identity" of one of the "suspects" in the Skripal case had been revealed to be "a Russian Colonel." These are the exact words he earlier posted:
"The true identity of one of the Salisbury suspects has been revealed to be a Russian Colonel. I want to thank all the people who are working so tirelessly on this case," Williamson said in a tweet.
“The true identity of one of the Salisbury suspects has been revealed to be a Russian Colonel. I want to thank all the people who are working so tirelessly on this case,” Williamson said in a tweet.— X Soviet (@XSovietNews) 26 сентября 2018 г.
Has the tweet been deleted? https://t.co/aTY8z9SMY5
Earlier this month, British prosecutors charged two Russians, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with attempted murder over the poisoning of Russian former agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Moscow flatly denied the accusations citing no tangible proofs over the matter. The Russian side pointed on more than one occasion to the fact that neither names, nor photos of the suspected individuals, proved that they had any links to Russian military intelligence agencies.
Speaking in an interview with Sputnik and RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, both Petrov and Boshirov rejected the UK's claims that they were military intelligence agents, adding that they, the two entrepreneurs, were travelling around Europe while on holiday.
On March, 4, Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near a Salisbury shopping center, having fallen victim to what UK authorities said was Novichok nerve agent.
London immediately blamed the "attack" on Moscow, sparking a diplomatic spat between the UK and Russia which culminated in the expulsion of dozens of diplomats and new US sanctions against Russia.
Moscow, which destroyed the last of its chemical weapons in 2017 under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, vehemently denied the charges, and called for a joint investigation into the case. Separately, Russia demanded that London allow it to access the files, with the latter repeatedly turning down the request.
On Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in the UK has reiterated that the UK Home Office had refused to satisfy the requests by Russia's Prosecutor General's Office to provide legal assistance in the probe into the Skripal case.
"To justify the refusal, the British side refers to paragraph 'b' of Article 2 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959. Under this clause, "the assistance may be refused if the requested Party considers that the execution of the request is likely to prejudice the sovereignty, security, public order or other essential interests of its country," the statement said.