Poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal to be offered secret new life in US
Poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has left hospital and is to be offered a new life in America.
He and his daughter – who are in fear for their lives from Russian hitmen – are now recovering in a top-secret MI5 safe house, deep in the English countryside.
But sources say they will be offered fresh identities and a “witness protection-style” option of moving to the US, where they will be far safer.
The pair are recovering from a nerve-agent attack in March, which almost killed them and will be in care for several months before deciding their future.
The Mirror understands Sergei, 66, and Yulia, 33, will be offered new ID’s in an arrangement between MI5, the CIA and the FBI.
It is feared the Skripals are too exposed to another Russian assassination attempt in Britain, where Putin’s agents have struck before.
One security source told the Mirror: “There is a reciprocal agreement between the US and Britain on offering new identities or relocating people.
“Recent history has shown Moscow’s intelligence officers do not fear operating here and have done so with impunity for some time.
“If they decide to relocate to a secret address in America, that will be their choice but they also have the riskier option of remaining here in the UK.”
Today, after Mr Skripal was released from Salisbury District Hospital after 11 weeks, the Russian leadership continued to ridicule claims they were behind the attempted hit.
President Vladimir Putin repeated the claim that Skripal would be dead if military-grade nerve agent had been used.
He said: “If a military-grade poison had been used, the man would have died on the spot. Thank God he recovered and that he left [hospital].”
Today, Mr Skripal’s 89-year-old mum Yelena, who is house-bound, begged Britain to allow the ex-spy to phone her as she has not heard from him since the attack.
She pleaded: “Please can I speak to my son?” Before the attack, he called her regularly from his Salisbury home. Yelena’s carer Viktoria Skripal is Sergei’s niece and has been refused a British visa to see him.
Today, she said she feared he may be given a new identity and that the family will never hear from him again.
She said: “He hasn’t been in touch. I wonder if the next step will be an anonymous new identity.”
She added that the pair are “not political toys. They are actually real-life humans with family members in Russia”.
Russia’s ambassador to London welcomed the Skripals’ recovery, but repeated their desire to see the pair – even suggesting they had been kidnapped. Alexander Yakovenko said: “We don’t have access to them. You can call it detained, you can call it isolated, you can call it kidnap.”
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