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Britain Charges 2 Russians in Poisoning of Ex-Spy

British prosecutors have charged two Russian nationals with conspiracy and attempted murder in the March poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were hospitalized after being found collapsed on a bench outside a shopping mall in the southern British city of Salisbury. Investigators determined they were sickened by a Soviet-designed nerve agent called Novichok.

Sue Hemming, director of Legal Services at the Crown Prosecution Service, said Wednesday there is sufficient evidence to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with using Novichok in violation of chemical weapons law, conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal and the attempted murder of both Skripals and a British police officer who was also poisoned.

Hemming said Britain would not be asking Russia to extradite the men because that country’s constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals. But she said a European Arrest Warrant has been issued in case they travel to any participating nations.

Police said both men are about age 40 and used Russian passports to fly from Moscow to London two days before the Skripals fell ill. The men then flew back to Russia hours after the Skripals were found.

Britain has blamed Russia for the attack since early in the investigation.  Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement.

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