UK governments refusal to confirm Skripal spy role is surreal, lawyers say
Lawyers for the family of the woman who died in the Wiltshire novichok poisonings have claimed the UK governments refusal to confirm that Sergei Skripal was a spy was like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
Michael Mansfield KC, who represents the family of Dawn Sturgess, said it was surreal that the government was arguing for restriction orders to be imposed limiting what may be said about Skripals role as a spy during an upcoming independent inquiry even though Skripal has given interviews spelling out his role in MI6.
Mansfield also called on the government and police to swiftly make material relating to the 2018 poisonings available to the family, including where traces of novichok were found, so that they have time to analyse the information before the inquiry, which is due to open in Salisbury next year.
Skripal was the target of the poisoning in Salisbury in March 2018. He, his daughter, Yulia, and a police officer, DS Nick Bailey, were poisoned but survived.
Four months later, Sturgess, 44, and her partner, Charlie Rowley, were also poisoned after he found a fake perfume bottle containing novichok. Rowley recovered but Sturgess died on 8 July 2018.