UK: ‘Too early’ to pin blame in spy case
LONDON-The Associated Press
British government security ministers held an emergency meeting on March 10 to discuss the poisoning of a Russian who spied for Britain as police backed by soldiers continued to search the English town where he was attacked with a nerve agent.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said after the meeting it was still “too early” to say with certainty who was behind the poisoning that left former Russian military intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in critical condition. Rudd said the investigation has been painstaking and involved more than 250 counter-terrorism officers. More than 240 pieces of evidence have been collected and 200 witnesses have been identified, she said.
“I want to stress that they are proceeding with speed and professionalism,” said Rudd, who oversees domestic security in her Cabinet post. “We are putting in enormous resources to ensure that they have all the support that they need to do that.”
The meeting was similar to the ones convened after extremist attacks and other threats to Britain’s national security. It covered the latest police and intelligence reports from the town of Salisbury, where the military-supported investigation has turned to the cemetery where the ex-spy’s wife and son are buried. Police are looking for clues to what sickened Skripal, 66, who in 2006 was convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter, Yulia, 33.