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Britain charges 2 Russians for poisoning ex-spy, daughter with nerve gas smuggled in perfume bottle

On Wednesday, British prosecutors charged two Russian men in absentia for the March 4 nerve gas attack on former Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Sue Hemming, director of legal services at the Crown Prosecution Service, said there was ample evidence "to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" of the two men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and a European arrest warrant has been issued, but "we will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals."

Police said they believe Petrov and Boshirov smuggled the military-grade Novichok nerve agent into Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle designed to apply the poison to the front door of Skripal's house in Salisbury.

The bottle was found by a local man, Charlie Rowley, on June 27, and he was hospitalized and his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, died after being exposed to the nerve gas inside. Police are not ready to charge the two Russians with those later poisonings because they aren't sure yet where the bottle was between the Skripal poisoning and Rowley's discovery. Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Neil Badu called the poisoning "a sophisticated attack across borders" but wouldn't say if he believed the two men, who arrived in Britain on real Russian passports with probably fake names, worked for Russian security services.