Former spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned by Russian nerve agent smeared on his car door, report says

SALISBURY, ENGLAND – MARCH 11: Military personnel wearing protective suits remove a police car and other vehicles from a public car park as they continue investigations into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal on March 11, 2018 in Salisbury, England. Sergei Skripal who was granted refuge in the UK following a ‘spy swap’ between the US and Russia in 2010 and his daughter remain critically ill after being attacked with a nerve agent. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
  • UK officials reportedly believe Sergei Skripal was poisoned via his car door.
  • They told The Daily Mail that the deadly Novichok nerve agent was smeared Skripal’s car door.
  • It could explain why both Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.

British officials believe former spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned when he touched the handle of his car door, according to a newspaper report.

Novichok, a Russian-made nerve agent used in the attempted assassination, could have been applied to his vehicle, leading to the hospitalisation on Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

Unnamed British government sources told The Daily Mail that Novichok, the Russian-made nerve agent that was administered to him, was smeared on his car door.

The theory could explain why both Skripal and his daughter Yulia were affected.

Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence officer, told the Mail: “Using the car would explain why both Mr Skripal and his daughter got a dose.”

It remains unclear when the perpetrator, or perpetrators, spread Novichok on Skripal’s car. Chemical weapons experts say that Novichok can remain dangerous for a long time after being applied to a surface.

According to the Metropolitan Police, Skripal and his daughter used the car, a red BMW, to visit Salisbury city centre on the day they were poisoned.

They parked in a Sainsbury’s supermarket car park, then visited a pub and a restaurant. Shortly after leaving the restaurant, they were found clearly suffering from the effects of Novichok.

Investigators this week started examining the section of the car park the Skripals used before entering The Maltings shopping centre, where they collapsed.

Neil Basu, a senior officer in London’s Metropolitan Police, on Tuesday also appealed for witnesses who saw the Skripals or their car, a red BMW, in the 45 minutes before the Skripals arrived at the car park.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to set out her plans to retaliate against Russia for failing to explain itself over the poisoning. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied and openly ridiculed speculation of its involvement.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain in critical condition.