'Dear Assistant Commissioner Basu,
It is now a year since the events in Salisbury that shocked the nation, and indeed the world. Since then, your organisation has conducted an investigation into the case, and has laid out a case about what happened in a series of statements, notably those made on 5th September (no longer available on your website), in which two suspects were formally accused, and another on 22nd November, following the screening of the Panorama documentary: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack — The Inside Story.
To those who have a superficial interest in the case, the explanations you have presented for what happened on 4th March 2018 may appear credible, especially since the British media has largely repeated them verbatim, even when they have been self-evidently flawed and contradictory. Indeed the press has steadfastly refused (or been refused) to ask some very obvious and much-needed questions about them. But to those who have spent time looking at the incident, the explanations you have set out contain glaring omissions, factual errors (see here for more detail), and at least one scientific impossibility (more on this below). What I wish to do in this letter, is to set out some of the most important, and which I believe you owe it to the public to explain.
WHY HAVE WE HEARD NOTHING FROM SERGEI SKRIPAL?
The most glaring problem with your case is the disappearance of Mr Skripal himself — and yes “disappearance” is the right word. It is now 12 months from the original incident, and about 11 months since it was announced that he had recovered. During that time there have been zero public appearances and — curiouser and curiouser — not even one public statement put out in his name. Additionally, it is known with certainty that he has not been in contact with his mother back in Russia — not on her birthday, not at New Year and not at Christmas — which has caused her great distress. This is not just odd; it is highly disturbing, especially given that Mr Skripal was said to be in the habit of contacting his mother every week prior to 4th March.
If I were to ask how you can account for this, I would anticipate an answer that includes the claim that any such statements, appearances, and contact are deemed dangerous to his security. Certain reports in the media have indeed stated or implied this. However, it will not wash, for two reasons:
Firstly, are we seriously expected to believe that the UK Intelligence Agencies are incapable of protecting Mr Skripal’s whereabouts and his safety, whether in a statement, a pre-recorded video, or in a call to his mother? The idea is self-evidently ludicrous.
Secondly, these apparent “security concerns” were somehow overcome with Yulia Skripal. Not only was a statement released in her name upon departure from Salisbury District Hospital, followed by a Reuters video of her reading out a pre-prepared statement, but she was also allowed reasonably regular contact with her family, including her cousin and grandmother — up to 24th July last year (that is, up to the point that she told her cousin that she “now understood everything”). If Yulia’s security can be protected, there is no reason that Sergei’s security can not also be guaranteed.
It is also worth noting that neither Sergei nor Yulia have once endorsed your explanation of the incident. Sergei has been silent, and as for Yulia, far from endorsing your version, in none of her statements or phone calls has she ever pointed the finger of blame at the Russian state for an assassination attempt on her and her father. In fact, she has repeatedly expressed a desire to go back to live in Russia — a very strange desire given what you claim happened to her, wouldn’t you agree?'
Read more: The Skripal Case: One Year On