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Poisoned Ex-Spy Skripal Released From British Hospital

Sergei Skripal (left) and his daughter Yulia

Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent who was poisoned with a nerve toxin in England in March, has been released from the hospital, British health authorities said on May 18.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on March 4 collapsed on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury. Yulia Skripal was discharged from the hospital in April. A third victim, a police officer who had come to the Skripals' help, has also been discharged.

"Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were admitted to the hospital along with DS [police officer] Nick Bailey after having been exposed to a nerve agent on 4 March 2018. All three have now been discharged," the National Health Service said in a statement.

"It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital," Salisbury District Hospital Chief Executive Cara Charles-Barks said in a statement. The director of nursing, Lorna Wilkinson, said that Skripal's release "is an important stage in his recovery, which will now take place away from the hospital."

British authorities did not say where Skripal went and have not disclosed the whereabouts of his daughter.

Britain has blamed Russia for the poisoning and said it was carried out with a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok. Britain and other Western governments including the United States have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats over the incident.

Moscow has denied involvement.

Skripal was a member of Russia’s GRU military intelligence in the 1990s when he acted as a double agent for Britain.

He was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in December 2004 and sentenced to 13 years in prison after being convicted of high treason in the form of espionage. He was accused of revealing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working in Europe.

But Russia freed him in 2010 and sent him to Britain as part of a spy swap for 10 Russian agents who had been arrested in the United States.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP