Attack On Ex-Spy: Accused Claim Innocence
Two Russian men accused of poisoning a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK have said they were close to the house of the victims on the day of the attack, but they were merely visiting the area as tourists.
The men, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told the Kremlin-backed RT channel they traveled to Salisbury on two consecutive days because bad weather prevented them from seeing the tourist attractions on the first day, according to the BBC and CNN.
When the men visited Salisbury in March, the city was reeling from the harshest winter to hit England in years.
They told RT network that the purpose of their 6,000-mile, three-day trip from Moscow was to visit the "wonderful town," its cathedral, and other historic sites, such as the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge and the prehistoric settlement site of Old Sarum. Friends had been advising them for some time to make the trip, they said.
According to CNN, "They claimed to have had nothing to do with the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found slumped on a bench as the Russians were on a train back to London. They might have been spotted in the same street as the Skripals' house, they said, but they had no idea the former spy lived there."
The UK government has dismissed the pair's declaration that they were merely civilian tourists.