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Navalny aides say Novichok found on hotel water bottle

Navalny aides say Novichok found on hotel water bottle

MOSCOW: Aides of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said on Thursday that German experts found Novichok nerve agent on a water bottle taken from the hotel room where he stayed before being taken ill.
The bottle appears to have been key evidence for Germany’s conclusion that the 44-year-old lawyer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent.
Specialists from a German military laboratory found traces of Novichok on a bottle of ‘Holy Spring’ water Navalny left in his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said in a video statement.
The discovery “means that Navalny was poisoned before he left the hotel and not in the airport or on the plane,” Yarmysh said.
Previously aides had suggested he had been poisoned by a cup of tea he drank at an airport cafe.
Navalny’s team, some of whom were staying at the same hotel, collected the bottle and other items from his room straight after hearing he had been taken ill on August 20. (AFP)