Russian spy: Police appeal over Sergei Skripal's red BMW

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

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EPA/ Yulia Skripal/Facebook

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Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in a critical condition in hospital

Police investigating the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter have appealed for witnesses who saw the pair’s red BMW car before the attack.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, parked the vehicle in Salisbury city centre – less than three hours before they were found slumped on a bench.

It comes as a deadline looms for Moscow to explain how a Russia-made nerve agent was used in the 4 March incident.

Theresa May is due to speak to Donald Trump about the case.

The prime minister has said the UK must “stand ready” to take measures against Russia and these would be set out in the Commons on Wednesday should there be no adequate explanation by midnight on Tuesday.

The US president said earlier he would take Britain’s assessment that Russia was behind the attack “as fact”, adding: “It sounds to me they believe it was Russia based on all the evidence they have”.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has welcomed support from other countries for the UK’s stance, including Germany and France.

But Russia has said will not co-operate with the UK inquiry until it has been given a sample of the substance used and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described claims of state involvement as “rubbish”.

Giving an update, police said former double agent Mr Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, remain critically ill in hospital.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who fell ill responding to the incident, is in a serious but stable condition.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said 35 other people had been seen in hospital, of whom 34 had been assessed and discharged, while the condition of one person is being monitored.

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Media captionBoris Johnson: “We are giving Russia until midnight to explain”

Assistant Commissioner Basu revealed Miss Skripal had flown into Heathrow Airport on 3 March.

He appealed for witnesses who saw the pair in her father’s car – licence plate number HD09 WAO – between 13:00 and 13.45 GMT on the day of the poisoning.

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Media captionNeil Basu, the UK’s head of counter-terrorism, made a fresh appeal for witnesses

He said the police investigation will take “many weeks”, with the “prime focus” being how the poison was administered.

However, he said detectives were “not declaring a person of interest or suspect at this time”.

Police also confirmed Mr Skripal, who came to the UK in 2010 in a “spy swap” after he had been convicted by Russia of passing information to MI6, was a British citizen.

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Source: BCCI- Top Stories

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