Why did UK court say “limited evidence” Skripals have relatives while cousin interviewed in UK media?

Why did the UK Home Office make no attempt to contact the Skripals’ relatives in Russia? Why does High Court judgment imply they may not even exist when they have appeared on UK TV? More bizarreness in this already very bizarre case

Viktoria Skripal, Sergey’s niece, interviewed by the BBC March 28 2018


The Skripal case has been a strange one, even by current standards. The persistent lack of basic information that extends way beyond anything that could seem to be justified by security considerations. The conflicting accounts, the unprecedented government and media hysteria, the complete rejection of due process, and the demands for international reprisals against a sovereign country based on absurdly scant and inadequate evidence continue to be as baffling as they are dangerous.
We’ve already covered the absence of evidence and the various lies and/or misconceptions or confusions on the part of the UK government, including some of the further puzzles, raised by the High Court judgment made by Mr Justice Williams on March 22, about how much it currently knows about the alleged “nerve agent”
But there are other glaring oddnesses in Williams’ Judgment as well.
One, discussed today by James O’Neill, is the contradiction between Russia’s claims to have tried to make contact with the Skripals through formal channels and having been denied or evaded by the UK, and the UK claim to have received no such requests.
Another, related to the above, is the question of the Skripals’ relatives in Russia. This is what the Judgment says about this:

“…Neither Mr Skripal nor Ms Skripal appear to have relatives in the UK although they appear to have some relatives in Russia. The SSHD have not sought to make contact with them. Discussions have taken place with the OPCW TS about precisely what enquiries they wish to undertake. In summary the main issues are

And

“…Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any family member, the absence of any evidence of any family in the UK and the limited evidence as to the possible existence of family members in Russia I accept that it is neither practicable nor appropriate in the special context of this case to consult with any relatives of Mr Skripal or Ms Skripal who might fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act.

Firstly, these statements seem to contradict each other and themselves. Do the Skripals “appear” to have relatives in Russia, or is evidence for this so “limited” it can be safely ignored? How can such a basic question be subject to such misty uncertainty?
But odder than that is the fact these allegedly theoretical and possibly non-existent or distant relatives consist of at least one niece/cousin and a mother/grandmother. Second and first degree relatives respectively.
And one of them has been interviewed by at least two different UK news outlets.
Viktoria Skripal, allegedly niece of Sergey and cousin to Yulia was interviewed by the Sun on March 14, one week before the court judgment, and again by the BBC today.
These interviews suggest this particular relative is pretty real, and not very hard to locate. If the Sun could find her on March 14, it’s hard to see how she could still be a mere thought experiment and “limited” theory for the Home Office eight days later.
So, since the implication in the judgment that these (very close) relatives are quasi hypothetical is obviously untrue, why has the Home Secretary (SSHD) not “sought to make contact with” the Skripals’ mother/grandmother and niece/cousin?
Is it because they don’t “fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act”
No. The “Act” being referred to is the 2005 Mental Capacity Act. S.4(7)(b) stipulates that before determining what is in an incapacitated person’s “best interests”, the person ruling (in this case Mr Justice Williams) must:

take into account, if it is practicable and appropriate to consult them, the views of anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in his welfare

.
Had Mr Justice Williams not been informed that one of these relatives was so “practicable” to consult she’d recently been featured in the Murdoch press? Surely,if he knew how easy to locate they were, his judgment would have reflected the assumption a mother/grandmother,niece/cousin would at very least be “interested” in the “welfare” of Yulia and Sergey?
Do such close and easily contactable relatives really warrant being passed over simply because of “the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any member of the family”?
I mean look, these people are in Russia. It’s possible – shocking – they don’t speak English. It’s possible they aren’t clear how to get in contact directly with a rural hospital in Wiltshire. It’s possible they tried but failed.
Would it hurt someone at the Home Office to get on the phone and check things out before assuming they just don’t care and taking the matter to court?
What’s more, far from being indifferent, Viktoria tells her interviewer she is worried about her uncle and cousin and is anxious to get information:

“I would just like to know how [Yulia and Sergey] are. Where they are. “


“If you were offered the chance to go the the UK would you go?”


“Yes, yes”


If this is the case, can we take it as pretty unlikely the Skripals have really made no attempt to contact the UK about their family members?
And, if you look at the wording again:

Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS Trust by any family member

It doesn’t actually say no contact has been made does it? It says no contact has been made with the NHS trust. This leaves the undeclared possibility there has been contact made by the Skripals with other departments of the UK state. This would broadly dovetail with claims made by the Russian foreign ministry, which, until at least March 19, has maintained its attempts to gain access to or information about the Skripals have been stonewalled.
If the Skripals have tried to gain information, either directly or through their embassy or consulate, why aren’t they being given any? Why aren’t they being consulted about the medical interventions being performed? Why has Viktoria been told so little since the poisoning, that she tells the BBC she still holds out a fanciful hope the victims may not even be Julia and Sergey?
Altogether, it seems this part of the official narrative is as confused and as hard to reconcile with reality as the clearly unwarranted claims about “novichoks.”
NOTE: The Guardian’s version of the BBC interview with Viktoria is shockingly deceptive. It omits all mention of the main point of the interview – that Viktoria is desperate for information and has received none – and contrives through this omission, and its headline (“Sergey and Yulia Skripal have slim chance of survival says niece”) to give the absolutely opposite impression – that Viktoria has been well informed, may even have seen her relatives and is predicting their small chance of survival from first hand observation. Even in the Guardian’s recent history of poor ethical choices and lies by omission, this is egregious in the extreme.


OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

Filed under: Catte, featured, latest, Skripal case

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OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

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JJA
Reader
JJA

Interesting addition to the timeline of the entire Skripal story: The U.S. State Department says that its campaign to use the Skripal incident as a tool against Russia started on March 6, only two days after the incident and six full days before the British government raised accusations against Russia. In her press briefing on March 27 the U.S. State Department spokeswomen Heather Nauert talked about the coordinated ousting of Russian diplomats by some “western” countries: "Our Deputy Secretary Sullivan, Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell, and many others in the building across the interagency process have worked tirelessly over the past… Read more »

Den Lille Abe
Reader
Den Lille Abe

So the UK is already going full US. And it is not really out of the EU yet.
Good riddance…

FobosDeimos
Reader
FobosDeimos

Now she’s conscious and talking! Operation Easter Miracle is at full speed. Will she talk freely with attorneys of her onw choosing? with reporters? with Russian consular agents? Or will she sign a pre-digested letter blaming Putin, no cross examination allowed? I hope again that she is able to say what she really knows and thinks, one way or the other.
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend could be called back in for an adapted performance of Tommy (Yulia). The parts where he/she recovers speech, sight and hearing.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43588450

Jen
Reader
Jen

Takes about 25 days for the necessary isolation, sedation and sensory deprivation to wipe the brain cells clean of past memories and opinions, and to install new ones by hypnotic suggestion, I see. MK ULTRA-styled techniques and methods must have improved greatly since the original experiments.
If people really want to know my opinion, I think what the Skripals really had was food poisoning.

Styopa
Reader
Styopa

I don’t know about that, but one of the interesting points to emerge from the High Court judgment was that the Skripals’ lack of capacity was considered on the evidence to arise, at least to a significant degree, from the effects of sedation as well as those of any nerve agent they may have been in contact with.

tutisicecream
Reader

Hopefully Yulia Skripal will recover and be able to tell all she knows. I sincerely hope so.
However if she does not and somehow cannot be repatriated to Russia with a full and open joint investigation between Britain and Russia then there will be no progress with this story.
I believe this is a fabricated event and narrative as there are too many incongruous elements to it. However I hope I am proved wrong and Yulia’s recovery is real and that her revelations are properly open and transparent.
So far I have seen none of this from the British authorities.

FobosDeimos
Reader
FobosDeimos

Russia is calling for a meeting of the OPCW Executive Council on Monday, April 2, to discuss the whole Skripal incident. I don’t know why but I suspect that the UK, the US, etc. will reject the “invitation”.
https://www.rt.com/news/422721-moscow-calls-opcw-meeting/

Jonj
Reader
Jonj

Will the FSB be permitted access to their foreign national Russian passport holder for their investigation into this terrorist act against these citizens?
Could the daughter wish to be treated medically back in Russia or at the other extreme “wish” to claim asylum in UK which of course continues the Russian bogeyman meme? What Russian law could be invoked for her return to Russia… .?

Mark Gobell
Reader
Mark Gobell

According to Dr Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, Yulia Skripal is reportedly, “improving rapidly” and is no longer “critically ill” …
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43588450
Tomorrow is Good Friday.
Maybe she will be fully resurrected on Sunday …
MG

Ross Hendry
Reader

Sergei must have received a higher dose – either that or he is refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement and so must remain “critical but stable” pro tem. MI6 are said to be praying he will come round but are nevertheless making the necessary funeral arrangements just in case. Eat your heart out John Le Carré.
More seriously I hope the poor man does make it.

FobosDeimos
Reader
FobosDeimos

Exactly. Yesterday she was practically ready to be plugged-off from life support. Today she’s doing fine. Maybe by Monday she will follow DS Bailey’ s footsteps and write a letter. Jokes aside let us hope that she is allowed to live an that she is able to tell everything she knows. Meanwhile I’m counting the days until the OPCW report comes out and the Tories are shown the door by the British people.

Jennifer Hor
Reader
Jennifer Hor

Or she might just say that her experience was … surreal.

timfrom
Reader

Well I admire your optimism, but May is having her Falklands moment and nothing will be allowed to spoil it, by either The Establishment or the Blairite Labour “Kamikaze Group” (thank you Aaron Bastani for telling us that’s what they revealingly call themselves!).
Unless Corbyn grows a pair, of course, and expels them for gross insubordination. (Just how long did Luciana Berger spend trawling through his Twitter – or was it Facebook? – feed before finding that remark about the mural, IN 2012 FOR GOD’S SAKE!, that kicked off the latest anti-semitism whinge?).
There’s no negotiating with cancer…

Ian Gibson
Reader
Ian Gibson

It won’t have been very hard to find – the Jewish Chronicle ran the story in 2015. Curiously, at that time, it only felt the mural had ‘possible anti-semitic undertones’ and no-one else through the story was worth picking up… wonder what’s changed in two years…

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Do you think it has occurred to the Kamikaze Group that, in such a flight, the pilot also dies?
Luciana Berger will have many little helpers – similar to those who helped parachute her into her MP seat after she lived at the home of Jane Kennedy, the then sitting MP and whose partner was the Labour official who ran the selection process.

estaugh
Reader
estaugh

As an appendix to the topic — www:eureferendum.com/documents/FCOsovereignty2.pdf —- Vote meddling going on here to.

Ross Hendry
Reader

Thanks for that.

duplicitousdemocracy
Reader

As others have implied, in any other circumstance, it wouldn’t have been too much of a surprise if an institution or individual had paid for relatives of the Skripals to visit the UK but I find the treatment of Ms Skripal to be even more bizarre. The only way to avoid diplomatic contact would be to immediately accuse the Russians of the crime. Subsequently this would have ruled out informing the Russians of any information surrounding the incident, which is what they have done. Her father probably is of no interest to the Russians, if he had been he wouldn’t… Read more »

MICHAEL LEIGH
Reader
MICHAEL LEIGH

As I simply try to understand it, Col Skripal is a Russian national who choose to live, in the matter of an international exchange of prisoners, in the UK where the government has bestowed upon him all sorts of priveleges, monetary and or otherwise by the UK government, and which presumably includeds travel documentation to visit, his beloved Spain ( and of course that Nation which is the source of some his property and also his savings and worldly monetary wealth ) and, further the UK Government in granting him a right to abode in the UK has provided him… Read more »

mog
Reader
mog

Corbyn is a racist.
Momentum are a neofascist organisation.
Russia is guilty.
The Skripals have no relatives.
There is no conspiracy.
Everything is normal/ as on TV/ irrelevant.
I am a typing orangutan.
I can create matter simply by thinking things.
Truth comes out of my washing machine.
Rejoice everyone ! We are free from the confines of reality, nothing and everything is real or not real, is both absolutely important and completely trivial at the same time. Just remember to keep watching the show.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

I put my plastic duck into two bags – do you think I’m safe or should I put it through the washing machine.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2018/mar/28/why-you-should-throw-the-rubber-duck-out-with-the-bathwater

tutisicecream
Reader

Oh look a rubber duck!

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

And as we enter this very dangerous period in Anglo-Russo relations which political figure is the nation looking to, to protect our national interest – why none other than Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, a pathological liar who continues to hold high office despite being shown up time and again as an upper class version of Arthur Daley but without any of the charm or wit.
It’s hard to say who is the worst Pfeffel Johnson, or the legendary, Sir Mortimer Chris!

MichaelK
Reader
MichaelK

Historically, the British ruling class have repeatedly shown that they are capable of great acts off daring and audacity. The willingness to take risks and gamble. I think it’s because the culture is so weighted in their favour in myriad ways, that they know they can probably get away with it, in contrast to ordinary people who are fighting an unfair uphill struggle with the odds stacked against them. This history and culture gives the ruling class immense advantages and their famous ‘confidence’ and swagger, their seemingly in-bred, heredity style and right to rule, their entitlement compared to the lower… Read more »

TakeThePowerBack
Reader
TakeThePowerBack

as Rage Against The Machine once said: “What’s it gonna take?!”

P.E. Ace
Reader
P.E. Ace

From suitcase to front door: the change in the story (backward fitting?) does not seem to surprise main stream media. Nor does the elapsed time between exposure to the nerve agent and the collapse of the Skripals on that famous bench seem to surprise any MSM journalist. Novichoks are supposed to affect you imminently and not leave you time to visit a pub and a restaurant. But I’m not an expert. The statement that police put out yesterday evening does not explicitly say that the nerve agent found on the door of Skripal’s home is the same chemical that poisoned… Read more »

Michelle
Reader
Michelle

The really strange thing about the door theory is that you don’t usually have both people touch the street side of the door when they go out together – a friend and I went out from her house yesterday and I didn’t touch her door at all. Watch people leaving in pairs. It only takes one person to shut the door.
How would an assassin know who was going to shut the door?

handbesen
Reader
handbesen

Good point! And the effect of the poison was delayed 8 hours?

Nemo
Reader
Nemo

These are Russian assassins. They are excellent.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

And a door knob on the front door?

MichaelK
Reader
MichaelK

Put very simply. If a lie is big enough and repeated long enough, very few people will have the courage to deny it. Until the lie becomes the ”truth’ for all intents and purposes. It serves its’ purpose, to groom the public for more war, then it’s forgotten about. Until years or decades later the truth emerges and educated and sophisticated people smile that anyone could have ever believed such nonsense… witches? broomsticks? sabbats with Satan?… Please! As we move onwards to the next big-lie in the service of war.

MichaelK
Reader
MichaelK

It’s very cunning and audacious, attempting to kill two Russians in Salisbury and the blaming the attack on Russia and framing them for it. Clearly when the UK State does something like this, or goes to war, this thing is like a small war or the start of a far bigger one; it’s incredibly difficult for any journalist working within the mainstream media, even if they were inclined to, to start questioning Downing Streets version of events. If one did, one would immediately be accused of ‘not loving one’s country’ and lack of patriotism and siding with the enemy. If… Read more »

handbesen
Reader
handbesen

I wonder if the UK government expected that so many people question their story. Are they regretting having been so incompetent in executing their plot?

MichaelK
Reader
MichaelK

It’s a bit odd that it takes two people to shut a front door and thereby become contaminated by the handle or the knob. It doesn’t seem the most efficient way of delivering a deadly poison to me. It’s Winter after all and even though the Skripals are Russians, perhaps they’d choose to wear gloves that day, which would protect their hands from coming in contact with the poison. The speed with which Downing Street and the media ‘solved’ this affair, indicates to me that their was a surprising level of coordination between them, like the government was just waiting… Read more »

Nemo
Reader
Nemo

Do Russians wear gloves at minus 3 Degree Celsius? Or is that summer for them?

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

Whilst the arguments are narrowly logical, here are a few more questions: 1) Why did ‘Our Caring Sun’ not fly cousin Viktoria to England after liaising with the British Consulate to expedite visa documentation in a timely fashion? Ditto the BBC….both our Press/media are the last bastions in generous decency and charitable gestures….anyone would think it was just about ‘the story’, not about a human tragedy… 2) Why has the Russian Press not highlighted that the UK authorities have refused Viktoria Skripal a visa? 3) If Viktoria does not have the money to travel why did Russian Tv not organise… Read more »

tutisicecream
Reader

“A Plant mistaken for a Door” Is the most recent part of this perception managed false flag. Another turn in the story. We are expected to believe that a military grade nerve agent that affected no one else other than a mystery copper who has not been interviewed by anyone, has emerged on the door of the Skripals? Now if this potent poison was as dangerous and of a type claimed how many hours elapsed from the Skripals leaving home to when they collapsed into a stupor on a public bench in the Maltings shopping precinct? Several hours it appears.… Read more »

A. J. B
Reader
A. J. B

‘All the evidence of the Skripal affair points to a cover-up of a manufactured event.’
Or carelessly mixing up Monsanto products they’d got from the garden centre?

JudyJ
Reader

And with such a delay in taking effect, is it really plausible that it would have affected both victims at exactly the same time?

Gb Ng
Reader

Methinks nope!

tutisicecream
Reader

And then there’s the strange case of the moving bench…
Clearly someone lost track of which bench was to be photographed for the front page news!
http://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-v/

Mark Gobell
Reader
Mark Gobell

“the strange case of the moving bench…”
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/23/officers-remove-bench-in-salisbury-where-sergei-skripals-fell-ill
Cut from it’s location on 23 March 2018, 19 days after “the event” …
“Quick, geddit back to the lab, the OPCW are coming …”
MG

JudyJ
Reader

I like the bit about the bench being removed as a ‘potential crime exhibit’. So evidently that description didn’t apply to the table in Zizzi which was purportedly covered in nerve agent and was, or so we are told, incinerated with undue haste.

JudyJ
Reader

Thanks for this link. Intriguing! I hadn’t been aware of this anomaly, which certainly begs a number of questions. The remainder of the analysis also makes for thought-provoking reading, along with the readers’ comments following on from the article.

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

The first thing a conscious person involved in an incident such as this would say in a hospital to a Doctor/Nurse or Barrister friend is, does my family know I am here, if not could you tell them I would like to see them, that’s elementary first principals for a conscious or unconscious patient. Why did the litigation “Friend” appointed by the Official Solicitor to represent the best interests of his client fail these first Principals? Note… A Barrister must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the lay client’s best interests and do so without… Read more »

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

Mr Vikram Sachdeva QC for the Official Solicitor representing the Skripals as a litigating friend, said that in this case at present it did not appear ‘practical or appropriate’ to seek the views of others who might be interested in the welfare of Mr Skripal [his mother perhaps] or Ms Skripal [perhaps a Fiance] Then at 17 hIgh Court iv) FF: Home Office Neither Mr Skripal nor Ms Skripal appear to have relatives in the UK although they appear to have some relatives in Russia. The SSHD have not sought to make contact with them. High Court . 27 The… Read more »

Kaiama
Reader
Kaiama

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5555641/Sergei-Yulia-Skripal-poisoned-nerve-agent-DOOR-police-confirm.html#comments
Currently in overdrive as people are shpowing their true feelings in the absence of the usual moderation.

FobosDeimos
Reader
FobosDeimos

What happened with Victoria Skripal’s alleged “confession” that it was Yulia’s future mother in law who put the toxic substance into a perfume that was given to Yulia? It was reported about 10 days ago that Victoria had pointed to this woman as the culprit, and that her motivatios was to avoid at all costs the marriage of her son to the daughter of a “traitor”. Did I dream that or was it all part of the propaganda war? Victoria does not say anything at all about the evil in-law trying to kill Yulia in her interview with the BBC.

FobosDeimos
Reader
FobosDeimos

I noticed that Victoria does make that claim in her interview with The Sun, but that was two weeks ago. Now she seems to have changed her mind with the BBC, or at least to a point where she no longer considered it necessary to expand on her earlier speculation.

Jen
Reader
Jen

There’s always the possibility that The Sun or a translator has misinterpreted what Viktoria Skripal said originally or someone is putting words into her mouth.

Admin
Reader

She was said to have made such a claim, but we have no context for it and it’s not that relevant. Even relatives with odd theories have the right to be contacted and consulted.