Investigative group names third suspect in poisoning of ex-Russian spy

An investigative group based in the U.K. has identified a third individual it believes played a role in last year's poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

NPR reported Thursday that Bellingcat, which publishes online investigations, issued a report that alleges Denis Sergeev traveled to England with two other men whom British investigators have charged in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Sergeev is a high-ranking member of Russia's military intelligence agency, GRU, according to the report, and had a higher rank compared to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the other Russian intelligence officials suspected of carrying out the Skripals' poisoning.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Bellingcat report was the result of a four-month investigation in which it partnered with Czech publication The Insider and Respekt.

The U.K., the U.S. and international observers have blamed Russia for the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in March 2018. Both were left gravely ill after being exposed to a nerve agent near their home in Salisbury.

British officials announced in September they were charging Petrov and Boshirov in absentia, with Prime Minister Theresa May saying that the nerve agent attack was likely approved at a "senior level of the Russian state."

The incident prompted a global response, with the United States, Britain and other European nations expelling multiple Russian diplomats.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the poisoning.