Ex-spy attacked with nerve agent discharged from UK hospital

Sergei Skripal has been discharged more than two months after the attack.

May 18, 2018, 6:22 AM

Sergei Skripal, the ex-spy who more than two months ago was poisoned with a nerve agent, has been released from a U.K. hospital.

Skripal was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital, according to England's National Health Service.

Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were admitted to the hospital along with Nick Bailey, a police officer, after being exposed to a nerve agent on March 4, NHS said. All three since have been discharged.

"It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital," Cara Charles-Barks, the hospital's CEO, said in a statement on Friday. "That he, Yulia and DS Bailey have been able to leave us so soon after coming into contact with this nerve agent is thanks to the hard work, skill and professionalism of our clinicians, who provide outstanding care to all our patients, day in and day out."

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found slumped on a park bench in a shopping concourse and taken to Salisbury District Hospital's intensive care unit, where they both remained in "critical condition" for more than three weeks.

The British government concluded after chemical tests and intelligence reports that the chemical used was a "Novichok" -– a Soviet-era, military-grade nerve agent and that Russia was most likely behind the attack.

Russia has consistently denied the allegation.

Following the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the U.K.'s biggest expulsion of Russian spies in more than 30 years, demanding 23 Russians leave the country. Shortly after, British allies including the U.S., Canada and 18 European Union states expelled 100 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity.

Moscow retaliated by expelling 23 U.K. diplomats from Russia and by shutting down some cultural links with the country.

Yulia Skripal was discharged April 10. She issued a statement saying she was still suffering from effects of the nerve agent and requested privacy to aid in her continued recovery.

She also appealed to her cousin Viktoria in Russia, who had been talking to the media, to stop trying to contact both her and her father.

Bailey, the officer, was discharged March 22.

Skripal is a retired military officer formerly of the Russian GRU, or military intelligence. He was arrested in 2004 after Moscow discovered he was working for British intelligence service MI6. He was convicted of "high treason in the form of espionage" and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

He was pardoned in 2010 by then-President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and subsequently released as part of a swap with three other prisoners in exchange for 10 Russian spies held by the U.S.

Skripal moved to the U.K. where he was given refuge in Wiltshire, England.

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