“On Wednesday … a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowley’s house in Amesbury,” police said in a statement. “Scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok.”
More tests were being carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated the Skripals and inquiries were under way to establish where the bottle came from, the statement added.
“This is clearly a significant and positive development. However, we cannot guarantee that there isn’t any more of the substance left,” said Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Head of UK Counter Terrorism Policing.
Dawn Sturgess, a 44 year old mother of three, died a week after she came into contact with the Russian nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury. Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia were both poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury in March. They both survived the attack in the city of Salisbury in southern England.
Dawn Sturgess, 44, died last week, days after she was exposed to Novichok near the city of Salisbury where Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were struck down with the same poison in March.
Police state that an inquiry is ongoing into how the bottle came into Rowley’s possession and where it came from. The working theory is that the bottle was discarded by the would be assassin had dispersed the poison in the path of the Skripals and Sturgess unwittingly picked it up before passing it to Rowley.
Tests are being done to see if the Novichok is from the same batch that was used in the Skripal attack.
Britain has blamed Russia for the attack and allies, including the US have expelled Russian diplomats. Russia retaliated by expelling Western diplomats, proclaiming their innocence in the attack and even suggesting that the UK was attempting to frame them because of the successful hosting of the World Cup.