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  1. ITV Report

London academic: Suspicions of Kremlin involvement in ex-spy case 'difficult to prove'

Investigators are unlikely to ever prove suspicions of Kremlin involvement after the alleged poisoning of a Russian double agent, according to an academic at King's College London.

Police outside the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury near to where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was found critically ill Credit: PA

The probe will never find evidence that will lead "all the way up the chain of command" in relation to Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia according to Dr Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has already noted that the case has echoes of the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006.

The reality is we don't know the cause of the illness, so there's nothing to trace, we don't know where it's going to be traced to.

We do know obviously that there's this immediate reaction that looks at Russia and that seems perfectly logical, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's correct, or even helpful. I think the reality is that even if in fact this has been somehow sanctioned or ordered out of the Kremlin, the reality is that we're never going to find ... the investigation is never going to find hard and fast evidence that would lead all the way up the chain of command. The Kremlin will in any case have tried to maintain some distance from this, and some plausible deniability.

– Dr Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London