Bulgarian authorities told about third suspect in Skripals' poisoning
According to the country's Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov, Sergey Fedotov was on the territory of Bulgaria in 2015. During an attempt on local businessman Yemelyan Gebrev on April 28, 2015, he was also in the country. Gebrev was exposed to insecticide.
The third suspect in the poisoning of the former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British Salisbury last year, Sergey Fedotov visited Bulgaria in 2015, said Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. This is reported by the agency BGNES.
According to Tsatsarov, Fedotov, about whom The Insider and Bellingcat told about earlier, arrived in Bulgaria on February 5-22, April 24-28 and May 23-29, 2015.
One of the dates on which Fedotov was in Bulgaria, April 28, falls on the assassination attempt on the local businessman Yemelyan Gebrev. That day the businessman felt bad, he was taken to hospital, a criminal case of attempted murder was instituted. The examination found traces of the insecticide chlorpyrifos in the coffee machine and salad of the businessman. Then the suspects were not found and the investigation was suspended.
According to Tsatsarov, after the attempt on the Skripals in 2018, Gebrev sent a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office in which he indicated that the poison in his case could be similar to the one that the former Colonel and his daughter were exposed to. In October 2018, the investigation was resumed, and the samples were sent for examination to Finland. However, the second examination also showed the presence of insecticide, not Novichok. Currently, Bulgaria is conducting a joint investigation with the UK authorities, the Prosecutor General noted.
In February 2019, Bellingcat and The Insider published a material stating that 45-year-old Fedotov visited Bulgaria exactly on the days when the attempt on Gebrev took place. The Kremlin stated that they could not assess the authenticity of this information.
The British media reported on Fedotov's involvement in the attempt on the Skripals on February 6. It was alleged that he was an agent of the Russian special services and temporarily stayed in the UK after poisoning the ex-Colonel. The Russian embassy in London called this information "a damaging material of special services, aimed at diverting the population from the country's exit from the EU."
Sergey and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious March 4, 2018. London accused Russia of involvement in the incident, and later called the names of the suspects - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. Bellingcat and The Insider published an investigation alleging that Petrov is in fact the GRU military doctor Alexander Mishkin, and Boshirov is the employee of the Russian military intelligence, Colonel Anatoly Chepiga.