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Is Yulia Skripal a hostage of the British government?

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Yulia Skripal, the daughter of a former Russian spy, is alive, but has leveled no accusations at Russia for her alleged poisoning in the Skripal affair. She appeared on camera with a fresh scar on her throat from a trachea cut.

Reuters released an interview with Yulia in Russian. When she mentioned the Russian Embassy, she said: “I am not ready, I do not want their help”. Strangely this phrase has been translated in the Reuters subtitles by the convoluted: “I do not wish to avail myself of their services.” This is corresponds exactly to the original statement from the Metropolitan Police issued on her behalf weeks ago.

Moreover, “I do not wish to avail myself of their services” is clearly not a translation of what she says in Russian by omitting “I am not ready” in the opening phrase of her original response.

After examining the strange interview, former British ambassador, Craig Murray, believes that Yulia’s statement was written by a British official and then translated into Russian for her to speak.

“Also that rather than translate what she said in Russian themselves for the subtitles, Reuters have subtitled using a British government script they have been given,” says Murray.

He suggested that the Skripals were being held as hostages by the British government, since they have had no contact with members of their family. “This lack of contact is a worrying sign that the Skripals may be prevented from free communication to the outside world. Yulia’s controlled and scripted performance makes that more rather than less likely,” Murray said.

On March 7, the British issued a D-notice, or a Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice, to the British press formally requesting that they refrain from mentioning the name of Sergei Skripal’s former MI6 handler Pablo Miller or making any reference to him in their coverage of the poisoning case and the police investigation.

A week later, a second D-notice was issued that reiterated the warning of the first D-notice and putting the press on notice not to publish any information that could lead directly or indirectly to the identification of Pablo Miller as Sergei Skripal’s handler.

This may explain why the British press, usually notorious for harrowing people in the media spotlight for interviews, have been noticeably reticent in approaching the Skripals – assuming of course, that they have access to them.

This would also explain why Julia Skripal was reading a prepared statement on the video and why her Reuters interview did not seem like a normal interview.

Pablo Miller, Skripal’s former MI6 handler lives close to him in Salisbury. He was the individual that worked for Christopher Steele’s Orbis Intelligence at the time that Orbis produced the extremely unreliable dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia.

Murray says the likelihood that Skripal worked with Miller on the Trump dossier, “is a near certainty” since the Russian ex-intelligence officer was in extremely close contact with Orbis at the time the Trump dossier was compiled.

“My opinion is that as the Mueller investigation [in the US, directed against Trump and Russia] stutters towards ignominious failure, Skripal became a loose end that Orbis/MI6/CIA/Clinton (take your pick) wanted tied off,” Murray concluded, suggesting that the Clintons may have had a reason to murder Skripal.

The media also continues to blame Russia for the Skripal’s poisoning, despite revelations about several NATO countries studying the nerve agent.

WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables revelead that in 2009 Hillary Clinton instructed US diplomats to feign ignorance of novichoks.

In 1998, chemical formulae for novichok were introduced into the United States NIST National Institute of Standards and Technologies Mass Spectrometry Library database by US Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Defense Command, but the entry was later deleted.

The Russian embassy in Britain expressed concern over Yulia’s well-being. “The video shown only strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held. Obviously, Yulia was reading a pre-written text. More than that, judging by quite a few elements, the text was a translation from English and had been initially written by a native English-speaker. The handwritten letters signed by Yulia in Russian and English confirm this impression.”

The English version of the handwritten statement is without mistakes, while the Russian version contains several corrections.

“With all respect for Yulia’s privacy and security, this video does not discharge the UK authorities from their obligations under Consular Conventions. The UK is obliged to give us the opportunity to speak to Yulia directly in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure. So far, we have every reason to suspect the opposite,” the Embassy noted.

Skripal himself is being protected by 24-hour armed guard at an MI5 safe house after he was discharged from hospital.

While British accusations against Russia have resulted in massive damage to international relations, the biggest casualty in the Skripal affair may turn out to be the trustworthiness of the British media.

How did the Skripals survive a nerve agent “ten times as deadly as VX” and recover from a weapon of mass destruction being used on British soil – as Prime Minister Theresa May has alleged – without the British media taking the slightest interest?

 



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