The Holes in the Official Skripal Story 1404


In my last post I set out the official Government account of the events in the Skripal Case. Here I examine the credibility of this story. Next week I shall look at alternative explanations.

Russia has a decade long secret programme of producing and stockpiling novichok nerve agents. It also has been training agents in secret assassination techniques, and British intelligence has a copy of the Russian training manual, which includes instruction on painting nerve agent on doorknobs.

The only backing for this statement by Boris Johnson is alleged “intelligence”, and unfortunately the “intelligence” about Russia’s secret novichok programme comes from exactly the same people who brought you the intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programme, proven liars. Furthermore, the question arises why Britain has been sitting on this intelligence for a decade and doing nothing about it, including not telling the OPCW inspectors who certified Russia’s chemical weapons stocks as dismantled.

If Russia really has a professional novichok assassin training programme, why was the assassination so badly botched? Surely in a decade of development they would have discovered that the alleged method of gel on doorknob did not work? And where is the training manual which Boris Johnson claimed to possess? Having told the world – including Russia -the UK has it, what is stopping the UK from producing it, with marks that could identify the specific copy erased?

The Russians chose to use this assassination programme to target Sergei Skripal, a double agent who had been released from jail in Russia some eight years previously.

It seems remarkable that the chosen target of an attempt that would blow the existence of a secret weapon and end the cover of a decade long programme, should be nobody more prominent than a middle ranking double agent who the Russians let out of jail years ago. If they wanted him dead they could have killed him then. Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps. Putin therefore, on this reading, was willing to sacrifice both the secrecy of the novichok programme and the spy swap card just to attack Sergei Skripal. That seems highly improbable.

Only the Russians can make novichok and only the Russians had a motive to attack the Skripals.

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear.

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal’s MI6 handler Pablo Miller’s work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British governments statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller’s long term friend, the BBC’s Mark Urban, that the Russians “may have been” tapping Yulia Skripal’s phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia’s phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.


1,404 thoughts on “The Holes in the Official Skripal Story

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  • MaryPaul

    There are many Russians living jn London and the Home Counties around it, including opponents of Putin. We have/had a tradition of giving them asylum even in the face of Russian protests. Russians come and go here easilyand spend freely. The UK does not use identity cards, no one stops you to check on your identity, It is easy to get to Russia from the UK. English is a universal language. How many other countries fit this profile? This is why there are so many opponents of Putin here. The downside of course is when they die under mysterious circumstances, the Met police and the authorities just sweep it under the carpet.

    • Tatyana

      Mary Paul, are they ordinary russians, or wealthy russians? I think it is always about money, this way or another, money involved. Most of russian oligarchs fled to London, not to other countries.
      Sergei Skripal’s place was Malta (while working for russian intelligence), Yulia also lived in Malta.
      May be he knew something unpleasant about a russian oligarch during his work? I remember Abramovicah was denied British visa soon after the poisoning. And Mrs. May claimed they will look into russian money in British banks, soon after poisoning, too.

      • Tatyana

        It was with Litvinenko, friend of Berezovsky. Litvinenko lied that there was an attempted murder, and due to this lie Beresovski entered Britain, as political dissident. BTW, Mrs. May knew of the lie, but preferred to ignore russian prosecutor inquires. Something similar goes on now with Mr. Browder.

    • Igor P.P.

      I cannot agree with your last sentence. The recent deaths of Berezovsky, Glushkov were widely publicised and received plenty of police attention despite no obvious signs of foul play. Not to mention infamous Litvinenko’s case. Sweeping under the carpet is exactly the opposite of treatment these people’s deaths are getting over here.

      • Mary Paul

        Why do you think there was no sign of foul play in the cases of Glushkov and Berezovsky? After he was found apparently strangled in London, the week after the Skripals were poisoned, Glushkov’s case disappeared from the press and his daughter went into hiding. We have heard nothing about it since. It is believed to be cover by a D notice. The coroner recorded an open verdict on Boris Berezovsky after hearing conflicting reports about the possible causes of his death.

        What is true is that the Met Police and the Surrey Police (an administrative area south of London home to some wealthy Russians) have shown no interest in investigating the deaths of high profile Russians in their areas. It suits them to take this view. You can see that it would just cause them a lot of grief to start looking into the affairs of wealthy Russians in the UK and they would probably make little progress, so they take the easiest option and announce No Case to Answer. Following the attempt on the Skripals, the Secret Service has been told to reexamine the 14 previous deaths of high profile Russians in London and nearby. I very much doubt that anything will happen. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/russian-deaths-uk-history-spies-murder-sergei-skripal-alexander-litvinenko-a8242061.html

        • Igor P.P.

          I said no *obvious* signs of foul play. Glushkov’s death was initially reported as “unexplained” by the Met: http://news.met.police.uk/news/unexplained-death-of-man-in-new-malden-298365 Then the counter-terrorism unit started investigating it before the cause of death was even confirmed (or “confirmed”): https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/russian-exile-nikolai-glushkov-found-dead-at-his-london-home Berezovsky’s demise was treated in a similar way. I suspect that we don’t hear about these inquiries anymore because they are groundless to begin with, so they do not progress. Not genuine investigations, but PR tools to fuel fears of the “murderous” Russian state and set the scene for real provocations like Skripal’s.

          • MaryPaul

            Is this then true for all 15 cases of Russians dying in unclear circumstances in the UK recently? Before the Skripals and the reckless pollution of Salisbury which affects UK citizens, Russian deaths were just waived through the coroners courts. Until the Skripals the only high profile case was Litvinenko. Noone took any serious interest in Russian bankers and their associates falling out of windows onto railings or eating poisoned sorrel soup.etc

          • Igor P.P.

            Mary Paul: I would be interested to look at the 15 deaths you’re talking about if you listed them.

        • MightyDrunken

          “What is true is that the Met Police and the Surrey Police (an administrative area south of London home to some wealthy Russians) have shown no interest in investigating the deaths of high profile Russians in their areas. It suits them to take this view. You can see that it would just cause them a lot of grief to start looking into the affairs of wealthy Russians in the UK”

          But why? Grief from who? I would imagine that if the trail led back to the Russian government the UK government would be delighted. It seems plausible to me that Russian oligarchs are killing each other off.

          • MaryPaul

            it is easier then surely to let them get on with it, without wasting resources nvestigating? Before the Skripals, the government was happy for rich Russians to take refuge in London, without investigating too closely the sources of their wealth.

  • Brendan

    “Mr Rowley’s brother Matthew told The Sunday Telegraph (…) “Charlie said she then gave the bottle to him and somehow it splintered or broke in his hands. That’s how he must have got contaminated.” ”

    I guess the bottle slipped out of Charlie’s hands onto the bathroom floor. Stranger tales have been told about this case.
    Now that the highly trained Russian hitmen have been identified, I hope they get charged with criminal negligence for storing Novichok in such a fragile bottle!

    • Jo

      Matthew Rowley said his brother had told him how he and Dawn Burgess, his partner who died from Novichok poisoning on July 8, found the bottle and Ms Burgess squirted the liquid on both wrists as if trying perfume.

      Implies that immediately they found it….

      • Patrick Mahony

        He also said Charlie had it for 9 days and then “Charlie remembers giving the bottle to Dawn”. So they were not together.

    • Mary Paul

      Perfume bottles are very unlikely to splinter as they are made of very heavy duty glass. Maybe it was something cheaper and more dilute like an eau de toilette.

  • Doodlebug

    One lie too many:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/21/novichok-victim-charlie-rowley-became-contaminated-breaking/

    “The Salisbury man struck down by the Novichok nerve agent which killed his girlfriend was contaminated when the container containing the chemical weapon splintered in his hand, his brother revealed on Sunday.” (21.7.2018)

    whilst….

    https://news.sky.com/story/source-of-amesbury-novichok-found-in-victims-house-11436143

    “The nerve agent that killed a woman in Wiltshire and left her boyfriend critically ill has been found in his house, police say.
    Officers recovered a small bottle on Wednesday from the Amesbury home of Charlie Rowley, who is in a serious condition in hospital.
    Tests at Porton Down have confirmed that the substance in the bottle is novichok, Scotland Yard said.” (14.7.2018)

    Officers recovered a bottle. Not a broken bottle or pieces of one. There was also a ‘substance’ still inside it, so presumably it wasn’t retrieved from the waste bin, where it had been jettisoned after breaking.

    Why would anyone keep an obviously fragile broken bottle? (We’re not talking antiquities here).

    The Rowleys are obviously struggling to explain how Charlie too was apparently contaminated by ‘perfume’ (or was it aftershave, a toiletry in which ladies have no interest?). Glass bottles containing fragrant liquids of any kind are usually very robust. So how now to explain one breaking in Charlie’s hand? Ah, “Dawn sprayed what was inside it on both her wrists and rubbed them together, like you do when you’re trying perfume” (Telegraph) or ‘as if trying perfume’ (Daily Mail) – note stylistic similarity with the phrase ‘of a type produced in Russia’.

    In cases of homicide the first suspect is more often than not the last person to have seen the victim and/or report the crime. Since Charlie Rowley has been passed fit enough to leave hospital, Wiltshire CID’s next move should be interesting.

    • Igor P.P.

      Thanks for the link. One more interesting bit:
      “He told me that they found something that looked like a perfume bottle. Dawn sprayed what was inside it on both her wrists and rubbed them together, like you do when you’re trying perfume.”
      Do you really *try” a perfume in this way? Especially when you are not sure this is a perfume at all, just something that “looks like” a pefume bottle?

      • Barrie Jones

        On numerous occasions over the last fifty years I have been in the presence of female members of my family when they’ve tested sample perfumes, inevitably the perfume bottle is picked up by one hand, sprayed on the wrist of the other, the bottle replaced then the wrists rubbed together. I’ve never seen them spray both wrists.
        On once asking why the wrists, I was told that like the neck there’s a pulse point there and as it heats up the perfume becomes more effective.
        Perfume sprayed on both wrists would I suspect be thought ‘too much’.

  • Jo

    How can police say they have found the bottle in the home…when his brother says he was told the bottle broke in his hands after they used it when they found it….they would be massively exposed to the contents in this warm weather…as it smelt of a
    “ammonia “they would just throw it away surely…it would not be taken home….?

    • Doodlebug

      @Jo

      I didn’t notice any mention of ‘when they found it’ in connection with the bottle breaking, but even if that were supposedly the case, neither Dawn nor Charlie are likely to have passed the night without showing symptoms of poisoning, which would have been synchronous. Dawn was taken to hospital around 10:30 a.m. and Charlie some eight hours later, which just as effectively rules out his breaking the bottle once Dawn had handed it back to him that morning, after spraying her own wrists. She could not have done that from her hospital bed and would not have done so prior to taking her shower. But it is said she collapsed immediately afterwards so she could not have handed Charlie any bottles then either.

      All of these bottle details are courtesy of Charlie Rowley’s brother and supposedly the outcome of their various conversations. That being so they have tied themselves in knots – something which would not result from a consistently truthful account.

    • Doodlebug

      And if the bottle obviously held neither perfume nor aftershave (i.e., it was not a sturdy toiletries bottle but something more akin to a test tube with a cork) then Charlie would not have taken it home to give to his girlfriend, nor vice versa.

  • roddy

    Come on Craig – what do you think of the new developments? You said you would post some explanations – No use ripping in to the governments story if you can’t back up your views when a further development of this importance comes along – still waiting!

  • Sean Lamb

    The advantage of using Rowley’s brother is the police can road-test various narratives and then abandon them later without losing credibility.

    While it would depend a little bit on the agent’s volatility – and perhaps the volatility of the medium it must have been dissolved in – you would think breaking a bottle would have affected anyone who entered the house until this had been clearly identified as another nerve agent attack.

    Anyway, as I predicted back when it happened, the raid on the aeroflot jet was motivated to construct an evidence trail against a Russian target. Almost certainly British police deliberately contaminated an overhead locker with some Novichok traces and equally certainly they then swabbed it and send it to Porton Down for analysis. So a couple of unfortunate Russians are going to be obliged to never travel abroad from Russia again. If British intelligence is good, they will have also activated some of their Russian mafia assets and acquired a DNA trace (cigarette butt for instance) on one of their targets and have planted that on the perfume bottle. Again the achilles heel may be that the Novichok in the perfume bottle seems possibly to have been mixed with a chemical that has an offensive smell as a warning device, there is a chance that this chemical won’t be present in the environmental traces

    Cultures of entrenched police corruption are very difficult to overcome, so I think we should expect the British government will be able to successfully pull all this off. But to some extent their credibility – even if this doesn’t appear in the media – has been shattered overseas. Outside Five Eyes countries responses have been conspicuous by their absence and while everyone in NATO will eventually fall into line, I don’t detect a lot of enthusiasm this time round.

    The other achievement of the British is they have managed to completely undermine the Litvinenko case as well – since the lynch-pin of their evidence was exactly the same as Novichok. Following their targets around and detecting traces of Polonium. If the perception grows they are simply gaming the novichok trace detection, how can anyone have confidence in their polonium trace detection? As far as it goes I don’t think the British killed Litvinenko, I think that was a Russian exile living in Israel who acquired some of the polonium stock used to top Arafat, but it appears that they were willing to cooperate with the Israelis in the aftermath

    • Doodlebug

      “The advantage of using Rowley’s brother is the police can road-test various narratives and then abandon them later without losing credibility.”

      That’s as may be from the authorities’ point of view. The public’s perception of events however is that the Rowleys are lying, since they have between them claimed primacy as the information’s originators. Dawn Sturgess is dead as a direct consequence of activities (bottle sharing) in which Charlie Rowley, via his brother, says he was involved. The next move therefore ought to see Charley taken in for questioning over the death of his partner, but we may take it, from Mighty Drunken’s comment following, that this course is not being pursued.

  • MightyDrunken

    Charlie has been placed in a safe house. Which I find surprising 😉

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5980433/Salisbury-Novichok-victim-Charlie-Rowleys-brother-says-kept-police-safe-house.html

    “‘I’m very glad to be out of hospital but I’m trapped in a room and on a lot of medication.

    Brother Matthew Rowley, 47, told the Daily Mail: ‘He rang me and said he’s being driven stir-crazy.’He’s being kept in a plain room without TV or newspapers because they don’t want to upset him.
    ‘It was a short conversation because nurses said I shouldn’t wear him out. He sounded really weak, almost as if he’d been drinking too much. He sounded pretty fed up.

    ‘He’s been given a strange new number which doesn’t always connect. I’ve only been able to speak to him once. I’m hoping I’ll be able to find out where he is and visit him soon.’

    • Doodlebug

      “Charlie has been placed in a safe house. Which I find surprising”

      I suppose they’re concerned about the Russians returning to finish the job (not).

      CR: “I’m trapped in a room and on a lot of medication.” (One flew into the cuckoo’s nest).

      MR: ’He’s being kept in a plain room without TV or newspapers because they don’t want to upset him. (or allow him to discover how events are being portrayed to the wider public)

      MR: ‘It was a short conversation because nurses said I shouldn’t wear him out.’ (MR speaking from the hospital at the time or is his brother still in one?)

      It all makes questioning delay of Dawn Sturgess’ inquest until January somewhat unnecessary.

  • MaryPaul

    the Mirror this morning claims to have spoken to Charlie Rowley via his brother on a “police burner phone”. One new piece of info in the article is that the deadly perfume Dawn is said to have sprayed on her wrists, was a brand only available in Russia. In which case i assume it would have been labelled in Cyrillic script. So they pick up a bottle of what appears to be Russian perfume, in Salisbury, presumably guessing it is perfume from the picture on it (?) and use it. Nothing about this makes any more sense. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/amesbury-novichok-victim-charlie-rowley-12965154

    • Doodlebug

      Ammonia Karenina no doubt, distributed in weak glass bottles, the substandard raw materials (cf. the Brooklyn Bridge) owing to a manufacturing scam necessitated by the demands of an underworld protection racket.

    • Kate Burnet

      Strange as he aso said that his girlfriend Dawn knew of the perfume, or to words of that affect, as in it was a recognisale brand.

  • intp1

    Now it is perfume of a type known to come from Russia – Hilarious. The Novichok saga is like a Saturday morning cartoon.
    Beyond satire.

  • Doodlebug

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5980433/Salisbury-Novichok-victim-Charlie-Rowleys-brother-says-kept-police-safe-house.html

    MR: ‘He can’t remember where he they found it. He remembers Dawn spraying the perfume on his wrists and rubbing them together. He then took the bottle but it fell apart in his hands.’

    So now it’s Dawn spraying Charlie and from a bottle made from the sort of safety glass they use in the movie industry.

    According to the DM: “It was also claimed that a British outpost in Cyprus intercepted a coded Russian message to Moscow after the poisoning which said the hit squad had left the UK.”

    For a super state Russia appears to be pretty careless with its information.

    • Borncynical

      Apparently the ‘message’ said something along the lines of “the [sorry, that should more accurately be “Ze”, said with an accent only found in ‘Allo, Allo’ ] package has been delivered”. I think it may have been Mark Sleboda on RT who said it was probably a confirmation message about an Amazon delivery!

    • Kate Burnet

      Can not remember where he found it, yet his brother said Charlie had it for 9 days before giving it to Dawn.

  • Doodlebug

    The Chuckle Brothers’ TV comeback is purely coincidental. There is no truth in the rumour they have been encouraged to write for the ‘Met.’ (‘To me. To you. To me. To you. Now look what you’ve gone and done. You’ve broken it and let the smell out’.)

    • Kate

      The ctv image of the couple in the shopping centre near the bench, wonder if they had anything to do with it.

  • Doodlebug

    ‘The leader of Worcester city council, Marc Bayliss, described the attack as “pure evil”.

    ‘He added: “Worcester is not that sort of place. We are a quintessential small English city.

    A quintessential small English (cathedral) city eh? So too is Salisbury. Strange that.

    • Robyn

      Thanks for the link, George. The author lays out a very plausible case on the deaths of high-profile Russians living in the UK.

  • George

    Also don’t forget the shoot to kill policy in Ulster. John stalker was sent to investigate
    .https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stalker

    There are many other examples from Northern Ireland.

    Uk govt has history of killing people.

    Senior police officers are compromised, removed from cases if they find out too
    much

    This case is a classic case of uk government covering up the loose ends. CIA, FBI with Sis want to get rid of information and assets.
    Follow russiagate and you find out the other plans. The USA wants Christopher Steele who has been shunted off to another safe house to be hidden away.

    Theresa May does what she is told (or advised)

    Same as Tony Blair was managed or blackmailed over molestation in a public toilet.

    http://sexoffendersinpositionsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/04/tony-blair.html?m=1

    Anyway something folks can think about

  • MaryPaul

    I struggle with this. What is the motive for the British state to assassinate wealthy Russian businessmen living in and around London? To blacken Russia’s name? Why should they bother? Russia is not exactly high profile in most Brits consciousness. Why give them asylum in the UK, often in the face of objections from Russia, in order to kill them? Bit extreme that. Usually the answer is follow the money and I am sticking with that here. London’s property barons and City financiers, who have a lot of political clout, like having them and their money here.

    If it is all part of a campaign to blacken Russia’s name, for reasons best known to politicians and the security services, then frankly it has failed. Most British people are indifferent to Russia and more focussed on issues like migration, freedom of movement and whether we should Remain in or Leave the Common Market. I don’t see pollsters canvassing the electorate’s views on Russia. And none of that explains discarded perfume bottles of Novichok being left around Salisbury.

    I am still of the view that, far from being retired, Sergei Skripal was freelancing and ran foul of his paymasters, who could have been any of a number of non state actors from Russia or the Ukraine.

    • Dave Lawton

      MaryPaul
      July 24, 2018 at 08:45

      Salisbury is full of notorious wheelers and dealers.

  • Tatyana

    As to testing perfume by applying it on a wrist.
    – prior before spraying or pouring it on oneself, the very common thing is to try its smell from bottle cap or bottle neck. We decide if we like the fragrance or not, then we estimate the ‘density’ of fragrance and what quantity is not too much.

      • Doodlebug

        What’s more Dawn complained of a headache before taking a shower or having a bath. She was therefore unwell prior to any after-shower toiletries. The alleged immediacy of her collapse conflicts with Charlie’s account of feeling unwell several hours later. As with the Skripals the apparent onset of affliction cannot be reconciled with the supposed time(s) of sampling/exposure.

  • Andrew Boughton

    Pretty good summation. i don’t think anyone in the world believes the official story, even those who purport to believe. Bar perhaps suggestibles or schizophrenics.

  • I'm Kan Gengis Kan

    This case is quite similar to attempted assasination in Amman of Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal with by spraying a poison into his ear. Symptoms were also almost identical to symptoms in Skripal case. It was an interesting story with foot and car chase and eventual arrest of 2 israeli assasins. King Hussein forced mossad to save Mashaals life in exchange for release of would be assasins.
    Kill Him Silently: Part 1 | Al Jazeera World:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29DCoAFvQt8

    Kill Him Silently: Part 2 | Al Jazeera World:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz-2H_InvAA

  • Juan

    Is it normal for the only surviving witness to a death to be giving out info to the media? Charlie Rowley must surely be a prime witness in at least a manslaughter (if not a murder) investigation. He could also be considered a suspect. Yet he seems free to comment on what most people would consider to be an ongoing investigation.

  • Anny Squire

    It now appears that the “perfume” was in a sealed box ..curiouser and curiouser..obviously this was an alternative assassination vehicle just carelessly abandoned by incompetent hitmen

    • Doodlebug

      ‘Obviously….’ is what we’re expected to believe.

      http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-24/charlie-rowley-novichok-amesbury/

      “In an exclusive interview with ITV News, the 45-year-old explained how his partner Dawn Sturgess fell ill moments after spraying the liquid on her wrists.”

      “He told ITV News he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days earlier, and had kept it at his Amesbury home, before handing it to his partner of two years as a gift.”

      So he hands his partner a gift of perfume in a sealed package, ‘a product Dawn recognised’ no less? Not Charlie. He opens it himself first!

      “Before handing the perfume over to Dawn, Mr Rowley explained how some of the deadly liquid spilt over his hands, as he attempted to place the pump dispenser inside the bottle.

      “It had an oily substance and I smelt it and it didn’t smell of perfume. It felt oily, so I washed it off really quick but I didn’t think anything of it”

      He just passed the oily, non-aromatic liquid straight to his girlfriend, having spilt some already and without giving it a second thought.

      And we are supposed to believe that because he followed NHS England’s advice and washed his hands, the ‘moments’ of contamination in his case were not long enough to have induced an immediate reaction, unlike the moments which made Dawn Sturgess unwell before she entered the bathroom (don’t people usually retire to bed when feeling under the weather?) and lay down fully clothed in the bath (which presumably she hadn’t run beforehand).

      So Charlie didn’t break the bottle after all?

      • Mary Paul

        But previously he was claiming, via his brother, that it was a Russian brand, not available in this country. Now he is saying Dawn recognised it and he attached the atomiser for her to use it. Being charitable, he is probably confused still, in the aftermath of his illness. But let us say it was a well known brand, prepackaged for the Russian market. Did he really find it or was he given it, for some service rendered, as in “This is for your lady friend.” If so he certainly won’t want to divulge the source. But even that does not explain how it the Met Police searched his little apartment for 9 days without finding it. Or how this is related to the Novichok gel on the Skripals door knob. Unless of course the would-be assassins arrived with the nerve agent in several different forms, and then recklessly discarded the unwanted ones in Salisbury when they left. Is this how the GRU operate? Does not sound likely to me. I still prefer the unofficial/gangster/Mafia element.

        • MaryPaul

          The other conclusion to draw from this is that the Skripals were also sprayed with the nerve agent, although apparently in a smaller dose than Dawn Sturgess managed to spray on herself. This would explain why they collapsed at the same time in Salisbury, presumably shortly afterwards. It does not explain OFFICIAL accounts of gel on Mr Skripals front door handle as the cause.

          .

        • The Brave Adventurer

          There is no such thing as a well known brand of perfume “prepackaged for the Russian market”. If the package does not look authentic (same as on the brand’s website) nobody will buy it. This is not the 90s’.

          The perfume dispensing part is called “atomizer” and never a “pump”. Pump type dispensers are used in shower gels and lotions. Even if the esteemed CR did not know the difference the police he has been cooped up with for several days surely must have clarified that for him. Some oils, lotions etc do come sometimes capped with a cap (with a foil seal underneath) with the pump dispenser taped to the bottle to avoid accidental leaking. There is no chance of leaking from a perfume atomizer in the original packaging and no self respecting brand would package the atomizer separately.

          Retail perfume bottles are always sealed in a way to make it impossible to take the atomizer off and refill the bottle (with something cheap and nasty and sell it as the original).

          ———————

          => ZERO chance the description given of the “perfume bottle” is real. 100% fiction.

          • The Brave Adventurer

            Here is a good clear picture of a perfume bottle. The atomizer has to have at least some metal because it is crimped around the bottle’s neck to prevent tampering.

            https://images.wisegeek.com/perfume-atomizer.jpg

            Well known brands of perfume – notice the atomizers, no pumps.

            https://www.google.com/search?biw=2048&bih=1075&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=dOlXW__6LsLA0PEPgdSMgAQ&q=perfume+2018&oq=perfume+2018&gs_l=img.3..0l6j0i30k1j0i5i30k1l3.84405.85030.0.85476.4.4.0.0.0.0.83.312.4.4.0….0…1c.1.64.img..0.4.310….0.AS-4wN_fyn0#imgrc=_

            This is what pump dispensers look like:

            https://www.google.com/search?q=pump+dispenser&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA_K-xprncAhWM7Z8KHY4fCjYQ_AUICygC&biw=2048&bih=1075

            Yes, they are most often plastic.

            Yes, they often come separately from the bottle.

            No, perfumes never come with a plastic pump dispenser.

            No, one cannot use a pump dispenser to SPRAY liquid onto their wrists.

            There is a possibility though… of a highly sophisticated assassination squad lugging around several gallon jugs of military grade nerve gel to pump it onto door handles. Why not?

          • Doodlebug

            Good on you for making that pump – atomizer distinction.

            Charlie also says in his ITN interview “I put the spray part to the bottle and it pour… I ended up tipping some on my hands”. He spends an inordinate time fishing for the phrase ‘spray part’. He also says (in a different ‘take’ – there are several) “my hands were covered in the stuff”, which would suggest either extraordinarily careless handling of perfume or a vessel with a rather larger neck than is typical of a fragrance bottle. Yet it came packaged in a box measuring only 3×3 inches!

            It sounds as though he’s describing a sample of a domestic cleaner rather than perfume. Nevertheless the police have taken the bottle into evidence, or so we are told. Care to step forward and clarify, Commander Basu?

      • Borncynical

        Doodlebug – indeed, and I am puzzled that there has been no further consideration in the press, or in Charlie Rowley’s testimony, as to how Dawn incurred the facial injuries reported on in the post mortem report. We were told by the media that she must have sprayed the offending liquid on her face as well as her ‘hands’ (‘hands’, not specifically wrists, mentioned as also being injured in the post mortem report) but Charlie hasn’t mentioned this.

    • Doodlebug

      “You really could not make this up….”

      Somebody is!

      And since the police have been in possession of an identifiably branded bottle for some little while now, they have obviously advised the manufacturer, who, like BMW, has in turn issued instructions to retailers for product recall in relation to batches supplied after a given date. Or maybe they’re just waiting for the next unsuspecting user to keel over in order to confirm their suspicions.

      If the price of bacon should go up it’s nothing to do with Brexit. Farmers are obviously now having to slaughter their pigs during the grouse season!

      • truthwillout

        So what happened to all that expensive packaging? Very surprising nothing was mentioned with all those extensive searches.

          • truthwillout

            Yes, he does. But where is the evidence. What happened to it. Did it go in the bin? It must be somewhere…

          • Doodlebug

            Very useful. But why is Charlie Rowley being interviewed by ITN and not Wiltshire CID? Outside of medical personnel he’s the last person to have seen a murder victim.

          • Doodlebug

            Answering my own question here, it seems that, despite previous announcements, this is not a murder enquiry. I would hazard a guess that death was more likely accidental or by misadventure and that the circumstances are being ‘massaged’ to provide support for the official (nonsensical) line on the Salisbury incident. Dawn Sturgess’ inquest has been adjourned until January, giving TPTB all the time they need to spin the Amesbury story six ways from Sunday. Come next year the story will be sufficiently ingrained in the public psyche and any uncomfortable details largely forgotten.

      • Borncynical

        Whatever Charlie Rowley’s role in all this is, the whole Amesbury Novichok story is boll*cks. I’ve given up even analysing the details being given because they are all too unbelievable, inconsistent and not backed up by any evidence whatsoever – same as the Skripal case. We’ve all seen the reaction when there is the slightest hint of a grocery product not containing what it purports to, even when it’s a relatively harmless error which isn’t going to kill anyone (e.g. ‘this product actually contains margarine and not vegetable oil so please return it to the shops for a refund’). And of course, quite rightly, alerts are put out for recalls when products which might contain nuts aren’t labelled as such. So we are supposed to believe that with the small possibility that there might be sealed, (‘known’ according to Charlie) branded perfume bottles maliciously contaminated with deadly Novichok in the community, the police don’t appear to think it necessary to tell us what brand we should be looking out for. Really? You have to assume that the police don’t go along with Charlie’s story…if they do, then the absence of detailed information from THEM could only suggest that they are completely incompetent and irresponsible.

        • Doodlebug

          Spot on in every respect. It’s looking increasingly as if whatever liquid Rowley and Sturgess handled it had nothing to do with novichok. The quantity Rowley describes would have been enough to eradicate Amesbury, never mind his girlfriend.

    • The Brave Adventurer

      Please let’s be realistic. The extent of the cover up is not within Ukraine’s capabilities.

      • truthwillout

        I think you are saying that the package could have been produced in the Ukraine, and left by the side of the path/road for Charlie to find. But how would they know Charlie to target him?

        • MaryPaul

          The type of packaging he seems to be describing does not sound like expensive perfume. What he seems to be saying is it came in a prrsentation box, inside which there was a perfume bottle and its “spray mist” dispenser, mounted on cardboard in a tamper proof plastic mould: so he had to cut off the mould and assemble the spray dispenser to make it work. This does not sound like any well known perfumes packaging to me but maybe someone knows of one? I wonder how Dawn recognised the brand? Are we sure there are no perfumes available in country specific packaging? Then if it was in your luggage coming into the country you could say it was a gift. I don’t think Charlie is mentally strong enough to be coached in saying anything very elaborate. He could presumably be coached to “forget” when and where he found it, but I doubt he could be relied upon to remember elaborate details of anything else.

    • Doodlebug

      There are no flies on George. He merely relays the ‘Ukraine’ story. He doesn’t advocate it.

  • Anon2

    Its all become one big Jerry Springer episode with the entire country as audience. It will come pass if only Jeremy Kyle could have Charlie on the show. Or when the whores pay off their mortgages.

  • Cass Dean

    . . . You might want to add to Skripal being released from jail “and pardoned by Putin.”

    However, I imagine the clock started ticking on him then and we have very little idea of what he has been doing since then. We have hints that he travels a lot and is still in touch with British and other intelligence agencies, but the press have clearly been enjoined from investigating his life, activities or contacts.

  • Colette Annesley-Gamester

    The body of the late Dawn Sturgess is to be cremated today Monday 31st July 2018 at ‘a funeral service to celebrate her life’.

    An inquest into her death was opened on 8th July 2018 then immediately adjourned…until 16th January 2019. No MSMs have commented on this unprecedented delay.

    Dawn Sturgess ‘died’ in Salisbury Hospital. It is not widely reported that the oxygen machine was ‘switched off’ a few hours after her admission. Not one MSM appears to have investigated why.

    Concerned that the BBC has as their focus claims of ‘measures to protect mourners’. It would be more helpful to have fuller, factually accurate details of events surrounding Dawn Sturgess’ life as well as the problematic delay of the inquest into her death.

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