Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal discharged from UK hospital

Sergi Skripal

Former double agent Sergei Skripal has been discharged from Salisbury Hospital more than two months after he and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, the hospital has said.

Salisbury Hospital said that patient confidentiality limited the information they could give, but that the "acutely unwell" Skripals had been stabilised and kept alive until their bodies could replace poisoned enzymes with new ones.

Director of nursing at the hospital, Lorna Wilkinson, said: "This is an important stage in his recovery, which will now take place away from the hospital".

The Skripals have been taken to an undisclosed location for their safety.

But Russia has denied having anything to do with the attack, with top Russian diplomats insisting that Britain either rushed or bungled the investigation - or that British agents themselves may have poisoned the father and daughter to smear Russia, justify increases in military spending or distract residents from the failures of Brexit negotiations.

"This is a complex investigation and detectives continue to gather and piece together all the evidence to establish the full facts and circumstances behind this terrible attack".

Skripal's poisoning led to a flurry of speculation about his past as a turncoat intelligence officer in Russian Federation and the Soviet-designed poison that incapacitated him.

Salisbury poisoning probe
GETTYDetectives wearing protective clothing gather evidence after the Salisbury nerve gas attack

Russian Federation has challenged Britain to provide evidence in the case and has requested consular access to Skripal and his daughter.

"This has been a hard time for those caught up in this incident - the patients, our staff and the people of Salisbury". I want to thank the public for their support, and I want to pay a special tribute to both the clinical staff here at the trust and those who work so hard behind the scenes, ? she said.

Scotland Yard said detectives were still investigating the "dreadful" attack on Mr Skripal but refused to discuss "any protective or security arrangements" in place after his release from hospital. A third victim, a police officer who had come to the Skripals' help, has also been discharged.

"We have been able to discharge Sergei Skripal".

In 2006 Skripal, a former Russian colonel, was jailed in Russia for 13 years for passing on the identities of Russian spies in Europe to the United Kingdom intelligence services.

He was pardoned in 2010 by then-President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and subsequently released as part of a swap with three other prisoners in exchange for 10 Russian spies held by the U.S.

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