the Novichok™ Chimera fades further

Dawn Sturgess, guardian photo

The White Queen to Alice: ‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’

First, a few excerpts fromNew Developments in the Skripal Case Reveal it for the Sham it Always Was’, Oct. 16, 2019, James Oneill,

Oneill brings the unbelievable narrative of the Skripals’ having been poisoned by ‘a highly toxic substance where only minute quantities are required to cause an almost instant death, and yet they went to a pub, to a restaurant, and to a lake to feed some ducks.  He spends time wondering why in the world some Russian Agents would poison a spy that the Russians had already repatriated to the UK, as well as his (assumedly) innocent daughter, there to visit her father before her upcoming wedding.
“Shortly after the Skripals fell ill, the story was given extra legs by two British citizens falling ill from allegedly discovering a tainted (but unopened) bottle of perfume. That woman victim, Dawn Sturgess, later died. This gave rise to fresh anti-Russian hysteria in the British media and kept the story alive for a few more weeks.

Since then, there has been a serious lack of interest by the western media. That two Russians, one a British resident, the other a Russian resident, should disappear off the face of the planet was apparently not of interest.

The western press were equally silent on what was a blatant breach of international law, of the rights of the Russian government with regard to one of its citizens, or even the whereabouts or fate of two blameless (on the media’s own narrative) human beings.

It is known that the British government issued at least one “D” Notice, a device to prevent the media from reporting facts relating to a specific incident. No explanation has been given for that D Notice, although it is know(n) that the identity of the named person, which was suppressed, was a friend of Sergei’s and an active British spy.” [snip]

Was that the D notice Craig Murray had speculated was Pablo Miller in his April 30, 2018  ‘Where they tell you not to look‘?  Or someone else?

“Under British law, where there is a suspicious death, a Coroner’s Court hearing must be held. The death of Dawn Sturgess clearly fell within that definition. The first such hearing was held on 19 July 2018 and immediately adjourned.

And the initial adjournment is not uncommon especially when Police inquiries are ongoing, as was the case here.

Earlier this month (October 2019) however, the Coroners Court issued a public statement in which is announced that the inquest into Dawn Sturgess’s death had been adjourned indefinitely.

This is an extraordinary development. It means in effect that the whole of the allegations made over the preceding 18 months, about the cause of death, the persons allegedly responsible, and all the political and propaganda barrage that went with it has now effectively being abandoned.

The Coroner’s Court cannot establish to the requisite standard how Ms Sturgess died, much less the identity of any individual or government that might be responsible.

As might be expected, the announcement by the British coroner has been met with a studied silence why the western media. The linking of Ms Sturgess’ death to the alleged activities of two Russian citizens seen in Salisbury on the day the Skripal’s became ill, and the lurid allegations about their alleged activities, have similarly collapsed.” [snip]

“The discovery of the stricken Skripals by the daughter of a woman who just happened to be the highest ranking British military nurse, and who just happened to be nearby, was another feature that singularly failed to interest the incurious media, content as ever to repeat British government propaganda.

The other feature that has been allowed to disappear down the memory hole is the whereabouts of the Skripals. They have been neither seen nor heard from in more than 15 months. The British media and their equivalents elsewhere remain singularly incurious about this feature.”

Okay, thought I, who might have more on the suspension of the Coroner’s Report on Dawn Sturgess?  Well, of course it was:

‘An Update on the Inquest Into the Death of Dawn Sturgess’, October 17, 2019, Rob Slane,

A few excerpts, and yes, he indeed has more information:

“Friday 18th October was scheduled to be the date of the Pre-Inquest Review (PIR) into the death of Dawn Sturgess, but it has been adjourned. Inquest adjournments are of course not uncommon, and according to the guidelines set out by the Crown Prosecution Service:

“Inquests will, in most cases, remain adjourned whilst criminal proceedings are being considered.”

However, not only is this now the fourth adjournment (the others being 18th July 2018, 16th January 2019, and 15th April 2019), but — as far as I have been able to establish — unlike the previous adjournments no new date has been made public.

But there is more. When contacted for details of the postponement and rescheduling, the Coroner’s Office responded by saying that a press release had been sent to Counter Terrorism Command (CTC), which is a branch of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), headed by Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu. However, it seems that even though this press release was sent, CTC does not appear to have released it — at least nothing has appeared in the media regarding it, and there is nothing on the MPS website. All very odd!”

Slane then explains that he’s in no way commenting on the propriety nor impropriety of the adjournment itself, nor is he commenting on the actions of the Wilshire Coroner himself, and if he’d sent such a press release to the CTC, it’s possible that the CTC/MPC have taken charge of the whole affair. 

“My real concern, however, is that the Inquest, which is surely within the jurisdiction and remit of the coroner, now appears to have been effectively placed under the jurisdiction of CTC/MPS. If so, this is disturbing. Coroners courts are supposed to be independent from interference from other institutions and organisations, as the Ministry of Justice explains:

“A coroner is an independent judicial office holder, appointed by a local authority (council) within the coroner area.”

“The costs of providing a local coroner’s service are usually met by the local authority for that area. In some areas the local police force employs the coroner’s officers. However, the officers’ work is always carried out under the authority of the coroner who works independently from both the local authority and the local police force [my emphasis].”

This being the case, it is surely down to the coroner to inform the public of any adjournment, and I am at a loss to see how it can be in the remit of CTC/MPS to do so — not that they even have in this case.

I am afraid that this has a rather unpleasant, yet sadly unsurprising, odour to it. Furthermore, my guess is that what is happening is that the public Inquest into Dawn Sturgess’s death is being quietly shelved, and will in due course be replaced by an Inquiry, which will include “Public Interest Immunity”, meaning that the evidence presented will remain secret, on the grounds that releasing it would jeopardise national security.”

Rob reckons that the Met Police have been unable to link the substance that allegedly killed Dawn Sturgess to the Salisbury case, and that their Department for Squaring Circles has been working hard for a year, but still can’t offer a believable explanation as to how the hard-plastic sealed bottle that was found by Charlie Rowley had ‘even more impurities’ than the substance on the Skripal’s doorknob, after being subjected to three weeks of sun, rain, dust, and so on.

“And so because they cannot link the two cases through the bottle, not only are they unable to charge Petrov and Boshirov with anything connected to Amesbury, but they are also unable or unwilling to allow a public Inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess to take place. Questions might be asked.”

Slane then goes on about the absurdities of bellingcat’s (crowd-sourced online journalism, Truth in a pot-Truth World) failures on the GRU dudes, and ends:

“Let me just end this piece by stating briefly three reasons why I am unable to trust MPS’s investigation into these cases (you can read more detailed explanations of these here);

As in: firstly, secondly, and thirdly, poking holes in the timelines v. witness statements, OPCW claims, BBC coverage, missing CCTV coverge, and all the rot that’s kept ‘the story’ ever revealing anything close to the truth.

“For Dawn’s family, sadly it seems that they are continuing to be kept in the dark about what really happened to her. “Weep with those who weep,” says Paul in Romans 12, and indeed my heart goes out to them in their desire to find closure and peace.

As for CTC/MPS’s handling of the Inquest adjournment, it seems that yet another part of the wall separating various jurisdictions is crumbling before our very eyes, as this country continues its quiet slide down the road towards a National Security State.”

And from bellingcat on Twitter, this reTweet of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty on Twitter linking to: ‘Russian Wedding Photos Highlight Novichok Suspect’s Security Ties’, Oct. 14, 2019,

“Among the smiling guests was a man in a suit and cuff links, wearing a beard and a mustache, his hair parted neatly on the left, with an expensive watch on his left wrist and a drink in his right hand.

Less than a year later, that man was publicly identified by British police as one of two Russian military intelligence officers operating under cover names who allegedly planted a highly toxic nerve agent called Novichok at a house in Salisbury, England, in a bid to poison a Russian double agent. The target, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter survived the poisoning. A British woman with no connections to Russia died, apparently after accidentally coming into contact with the substance.”, and so on.


““Why won’t, or why can’t the British Government,” commented a surprised London investigative source, “support their own narrative of the Skripal case in court after so much time has elapsed for the investigation? This isn’t a matter of catching those culpable, but of proving, at least to the satisfaction of the Coroner, that a Russian plot and a Russian-sourced nerve agent Novichok were the cause of Sturgess’s death. No inquest means no murder — no murder means no Russian plot. You’d think the British press would be all over this news.”

The cause of Sturgess’s death was announced more than a year ago by Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, spokesmen for the Metropolitan Police, and the British media. According to May on September 5, 2018, “hard evidence has enabled the independent Crown Prosecution Service to conclude they have a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men [alleged GRU agents] for the attack in Salisbury. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley too. There is no other line of inquiry beyond this. And the police have today formally linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury – such that it now forms one investigation.” [snip]

“Although the two incidents occurred almost twelve weeks apart in time and nine miles in geography, the British Government has claimed that Russian military intelligence (GRU) agents were culpable in both. The evidence Basu claimed to substantiate the allegation was contradicted in public statements by the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson.”

[large snip with documents, back and forth  (his?) emails, lists posted by the Coroner’s Office in Wilshire (no Dawn Sturgess), plus a photo of the joint]

“Last Friday afternoon Ridley and Twort were asked to “provide…a copy of the press release to which you refer with delay, as there is no Met Police-Counter Terrorism record of it, as you can see. Since Mr Ridley arranged the text of the police press release; since you claim ‘the Senior Coroner issued a press release through Counter Terrorism’; and since you fail to provide the purported release with your email below, unless you provide the purported statement by prompt return of email, I am obliged to report that Mr Ridley did no such thing, and that you and he are fabricating a claim.” Ridley has not replied.

No British press organ has contacted Ridley recently to ask for an explanation of his delay in opening in court the evidence of murder which Prime Minister May told parliament was certain more than a year ago.”

I checked again, and there’s nothing from the BBC on Ms. Sturgess since Nov. 22, 2018, same for the Independent UK, the Guardian since Feb. 15, 2019: ‘Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess’s parents tell of their anger and hurt; Exclusive: Family break silence to express concerns that UK settled former spy in Salisbury’

(cross-posted at

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s