Russian spy daughter leaves hospital as father improves
Created : 10 April 2018
(Image: AP: File picture of Yulia Skripal)
Yulia Skripal, who was targeted along with her father in a nerve agent attack in England, has been discharged from the hospital, a British health official said on Tuesday.
"This is not the end of her treatment but marks a significant milestone," said Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director of Salisbury District Hospital.
She said she would not provide details about Skripal's condition for reasons of patient privacy. The 33-year-old daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, has been taken to a secure location.
Blanshard said Sergei Skripal, the apparent target of the attack, is recovering more slowly than his daughter but continues to improve. "Both patients have responded exceptionally well to the treatment we've been providing. But, equally, both patients are at different stages in their recovery," she said.
The doctor said no date has been set for the elder Skripal's release from hospital.
The two were poisoned on 4 March in an attack that has led to a prolonged confrontation between Russia and Britain that has revived Cold War tensions. Both were in critical condition for several weeks after the poisoning.
The British government, which accuses Russia of carrying out the attack, is likely to keep details about Yulia Skripal's location secret, given the sensitivity of the case. If she is well enough, she is likely to be extensively questioned by British security officials and police about her recollection of events leading up to her poisoning.
The Russian Embassy congratulated Yulia Skripal on her release in a tweet but said pointedly that Russia needs "urgent proof" that "what is being done to her is done on her own free will". Russia says it has no role in the attack and has demanded consular access to Yulia Skripal, who has Russian nationality.
It is not clear where the Skripals will live if they recover enough to resume normal activities. British officials may feel Sergei Skripal would not be safe to live in the open any longer.
British police say the lethal nerve agent Novichok was placed on the door handle of Sergei Skripal's house in Salisbury, an English cathedral city west of London. The nerve agent also sickened Nick Bailey, a police detective who came to their aid. He was the first of the three to be released from the hospital.
Sergei Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted in Russia of spying for Britain. He was imprisoned in Russia and eventually settled in England after a "spy swap". He was living under his own name in Salisbury, apparently believing he would be safe because there was no known history of Russia attacking former spies who had been swapped.
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