British government considered moving Novichok victims Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia to a safe house in Australia but they didn’t want to leave protection of UK police
- The victims were offered new identities in one of the ‘Five Eyes’ allied countries
- Those included Australia but the Skripals did not want to leave police protection
- Author Mark Urban revealed in a new book that ‘neither of them liked the idea’
- The father and daughter were targeted in the British town of Salisbury in March
Novichok victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal were offered new identities in Australia following the attempted assassination, a new book has revealed.
The former Russian spy and his daughter were found collapsed on March 4 in the British town of Salisbury and a police officer fell ill after trying to help them.
Russian military intelligence agents Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have since been charged with conspiracy to murder the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.
Novichok victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal (right and left) were offered new identities in Australia following the attempted assassination, a new book has revealed
And in a new book by journalist Mark Urban, which tells the story of Mr Skripal’s life, it is detailed how British government officials were considering moving the pair to a ‘Five Eyes’ country.
The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprised of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.
Mr Urban wrote the Skripals were recovering in hospital after the attempts on their life when the discussions were happening.
He said: ‘There had been suggestions from Downing Street they might well end up in America or another English-speaking country, and be given new identities.’
But the author revealed the two were not eager to leave the protection of British police.
He added: ‘Neither of them I hear particularly liked this idea.’
But the author revealed the two were not eager to leave the protection of British police
‘But even if the arrangement of safe house and police protection could go on for months it could not go on for ever.’
The explosive account of the months leading up to the assassination attempt also explained how Mr Skripal’s code name was Forthwith and had been recruited to Britain at the end of a three-year role in Spain.
The British writer said Ms Skripal also struggled to adjust to her new life under protection, who had only intended to be away from Moscow for two weeks.
He also had a dog back in Russia.
According to The Australian, Mr Urban said the reason the pair was targeted was potentially to warn other Russian agents from defecting.
The former Russian spy and his daughter were found collapsed on March 4 in the British town of Salisbury and a police officer fell ill after trying to help them (pictured police outside Mr Skripal’s home in Salisbury)