A judge has given the green light for doctors to take blood samples of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia so they can be tested by chemical weapons experts. He added it is unknown whether the duo will “regain mental capacity.”
Justice Williams gave the go ahead, following a ruling earlier this week at the Court of Protection, which deals with issues concerning people who are incapable of making decisions for themselves. He said doctors at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, where the Skripals remain in critical condition, could provide blood samples to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The UK government invited the international chemical weapons experts to collaborate in the investigation of the attempted murder of the former Russian double agent, 66, and 33-year-old Yulia earlier this month. Moscow has repeatedly requested access to samples of the nerve agent used to poison Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, but has not been granted any, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The court heard the mental capacity of the duo may be compromised to “an unknown and unascertained” degree, and that is it is not possible to know the extent to which they will recover.
The judgement went on to say the analysis of the Skripals’ blood samples by the UK’s chemical weapons facility, Porton Down, indicated they had been exposed to the A-234 nerve agent (also known as Novichok), or a related one.
It comes as it emerged that a second police officer investigating the Salisbury nerve agent attack was treated in hospital over suspected poisoning. He is said to have come into contact with an object that possibly had “secondary contamination”. The PC reported minor symptoms such as skin irritation.
A source told the Daily Mail: “He is receiving treatment at Salisbury General Hospital as an outpatient as his symptoms are not serious enough to warrant him being kept in.”