Russia: ‘They were very scared’ — RT editor-in-chief on interviewing Novichok attack suspects

SOT, Margarita Simonyan, RT Editor-in-Chief (Russian): «We failed to find them. We searched for them in a similar way as you did, as all professional media outlets searched for them, I mean, on social media, on sources, on open sources. And we have even found somebody, but not the right ones. In the end, they found me. They called me on my mobile phone and told me exactly this way: «Hello, we are... Еще Petrov and Boshirov . We would like to have a talk with you.» Reporter: «But still, when it comes to their passports. What did they say about the passports, those that had been published by media. Are the [published] passport numbers identical to their real ones or not?» Simonyan: «They showed me their Russian passports. They did not bring those passports. They showed the Russian passports and, judging by the passports, their names are at least real. When it comes to their appearance, they look like those men on the published photos. So I am sure they are those exact men because their passports correspond, and so do the photos, videos, and all the material that the British side had presented. Well, it pretty explicitly shows that they are those men. Regarding the questions on the passport numbers and other the questions in general… You know they were very scared, very agitated. They were constantly wiping sweat off their brows though I lowered air temperature in the office. They explained such a reaction by saying that they are not public figures, so they are worried now because media outlets will start digging deeper, clinging to the passport numbers, some details regarding their origin. So the media will start digging deeper as we usually do, and we will obviously star doing so, and media outlets have already started doing it. And it will complicate even more their lives. They are worried that it will complicate the lives of their relatives. That is why they did not answer the questions which could somehow help the search for further details regarding those around them, their address, and so on.» RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan explained how the channel managed to reach out the two men the UK accuses of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia, speaking in an interview in Moscow on Thursday. «They called me on my mobile phone and told me exactly this way: 'Hello, we are Petrov and Boshirov. We would like to have a talk with you,» Simonyan said. The media chief said the two men appeared to be «very scared, very worried» during the interview. UK has charged Petrov and Boshinov in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder as well as use of the nerve agent Novichok. Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury on March 4. Since the beginning the UK has blamed Moscow for the incident, while Kremlin has denied any involvement in the affair.

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