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Former Spy Sergei Skripal Released From Hospital, Recovering From Exotic Nerve Agent

Peter Nicholls

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Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy and British double agent who was poisoned in England, has been discharged from a Salisbury hospital more than two months after he was exposed to a lethal nerve agent developed by Russia.

"It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital," said Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospital officials say Skripal, 66, will continue his recovery elsewhere. He was found slumped over on a bench on March 4 along with his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal.

Police say the two had been poisoned at their home and that their front door proved to have a high concentration of a military-grade chemical weapon known as Novichok.

Yulia Skripal was discharged from the hospital in early April. After her release, she said that she didn't need help from the Russian Embassy, which had suggested the U.K. was holding her against her will.

Noting that her father was still in critical condition, Yulia Skripal said, "I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us. I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me."

Also poisoned was Police Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who was among the first responders in the case. Bailey was released from the hospital on March 22.

The case has touched off a diplomatic clash pitting Russia against the U.K. and its allies, including the U.S., with all of the countries expelling some of the other side's diplomats in a tit-for-tat exchange.

Detectives from the U.K.'s Counter Terrorism Policing network are working to piece together all the facts about the attempted murders of the Skripals, the Metropolitan Police Department said Friday.

When Yulia Skripal was released, the only sign of her whereabouts was a notice that she was now in a "secure" location.

"In the interests of Sergei and Yulia's safety, we will not be discussing any protective or security arrangements that are in place," the police added.

Sergei Skripal is a retired military intelligence colonel who was convicted in Russia of telling British intelligence the identities of Russian spies working in Europe. He was sentenced to a 13-year prison term in 2006 — but was released in 2010 under a prisoner swap. Skripal later became a British citizen.

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