by Craig Murray
The time that “Boshirov and Petrov” were allegedly in Salisbury
carrying out the attack is all entirely within the period the Skripals
were universally reported to have left their home with their mobile phones switched off.
A key hole in the British government’s account of the Salisbury
poisonings has been plugged – the lack of any actual suspects. And it
has been plugged in a way that appears broadly convincing – these two
men do appear to have traveled to Salisbury at the right time to have
But what has not been established is the men’s identity and that they
are agents of the Russian state, or just what they did in Salisbury. If
they are Russian agents, they are remarkably amateur assassins.
Meanwhile the new evidence throws the previously reported timelines into
confusion – and demolishes the theories put out by “experts” as to why
the Novichok dose was not fatal.
This BBC report gives a very useful timeline summary of events.
At 09.15 on Sunday 4 March the Skripals’ car was seen on CCTV driving
through three different locations in Salisbury. Both Skripals had
switched off their mobile phones and they remained off for over four
hours, which has baffled geo-location.
There is no CCTV footage that indicates the Skripals returning to
their home. It has therefore always been assumed that they last touched
the door handle around 9am.
But the Metropolitan Police state that Boshirov and Petrov did not arrive in
Salisbury until 11.48 on the day of the poisoning. That means that they
could not have applied a nerve agent to the Skripals’ doorknob before
noon at the earliest. But there has never been any indication that the
Skripals returned to their home after noon on Sunday 4 March. If they
did so, they and/or their car somehow avoided all CCTV cameras. Remember
they were caught by three CCTV cameras on leaving, and Borishov and
Petrov were caught frequently on CCTV on arriving.
The Skripals were next seen on CCTV at 13.30, driving down Devizes
road. After that their movements were clearly witnessed or recorded
until their admission to hospital.
So even if the Skripals made an “invisible” trip home before being
seen on Devizes Road, that means the very latest they could have touched
the doorknob is 13.15. The longest possible gap between the novichok
being placed on the doorknob and the Skripals touching it would have
been one hour and 15 minutes. Do you recall all those “experts” leaping
in to tell us that the “ten times deadlier than VX” nerve agent was not
fatal because it had degraded overnight on the doorknob? Well that
cannot be true. The time between application and contact was between a
minute and (at most) just over an hour on this new timeline.
In general it is worth observing that the Skripals, and poor Dawn
Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, all managed to achieve almost complete CCTV
invisibility in their widespread movements around Salisbury at the key
times, while in contrast “Petrov and Boshirov” managed to be frequently
caught in high quality all the time during their brief visit.
This is especially remarkable in the case of the Skripals’ location
around noon on 4 March. The government can only maintain that they
returned home at this time, as they insist they got the nerve agent from
the doorknob. But why was their car so frequently caught on CCTV
leaving, but not at all returning? It appears very much more probable
that they came into contact with the nerve agent somewhere else, while
they were out.
“Boshirov and Petrov” plainly are of interest in this case. But only
Theresa May stated they were Russian agents: the police did not, and
stated that they expected those were not their real identities. We do
not know who Boshirov and Petrov were. It appears very likely their
appearance was to do with the Skripals on that day. But they may have
been meeting them, outside the home. The evidence points to that, rather
than doorknobs. Such a meeting might explain why the Skripals had
turned off their mobile phones to attempt to avoid surveillance.
It is also telling the police have pressed no charges against them in
the case of Dawn Sturgess, which would be manslaughter at least if the
government version is true.
If “Boshirov and Petrov” are secret agents, their incompetence is
astounding. They used public transport rather than a vehicle and left
the clearest possible CCTV footprint. They failed in their assassination
attempt. They left traces of novichok everywhere and could well have
poisoned themselves, and left the “murder weapon” lying around to be
found. Their timings in Salisbury were extremely tight – and British
Sunday rail service dependent.
There are other possibilities of who “Boshirov and Petrov” really
are, of which Ukrainian is the obvious one. One thing I discovered when
British Ambassador to Uzbekistan was that there had been a large
Ukrainian ethnic group of scientists working at the Soviet chemical
weapon testing facility there at Nukus. There are many other
Yesterday’s revelations certainly add to the amount we know about the
Skripal event. But they raise as many new questions as they give