Skripal suspects believed to have followed him in Czechia long before attempted poisoning

The suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack on the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal reportedly visited the Czech Republic in 2014 at the time when Skripal himself was in the country, allegedly helping the Czech counter intelligence service uncover Russian spies. The flagship news channel of Czech Radio, Radiozurnal, broke the story on Wednesday, citing Czech intelligence sources.

The two men, who are believed to work for the Russian intelligence service GRU, arrived in the Czech Republic in mid-October 2014, using the same cover names as they did in Britain -Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – just days before Skripal’s scheduled visit to the country.

This suggests that Skripal was being followed by the two men long before the attempted poisoning. The Czech Intelligence Service has said it will not comment on the case.