13:46, September 06 182 0 theguardian.com

2018-09-06 13:46:46
Russia’s role in novichok poisonings still not clear

Theresa May has ensured there is no possibility that those she accuses of the Salisbury events could get a fair trial in England (Report, 6 September). One would expect an ex-home secretary to know this. The select committee on procedure states on the sub judice rule: “In view of the public interest in maintaining the ‘rule of law’, parliament must be taken as being committed to the need for ‘due process’ in the system of civil and criminal justice . The courts have developed many rules that seek to achieve this – for example, the rules of natural justice, that seek to minimise the risk of judicial bias and protect the right to a fair trial. Under the Human Rights Act 1998, an individual affected by such acts can also rely on his or her right under article 6 of the European convention on human rights to a fair hearing ‘by an independent and impartial tribunal’.”

Lee Dalton

Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Before we launch into a rerun of the cold war, Theresa May should consider the actual facts. Two Russians are clearly seen in Salisbury. However, this does not prove they smeared the novichok. With regard to Putin’s involvement, the best she can do is “almost certainly also approved … at a senior level of the Russian state”. While it is perfectly possible that the Kremlin sent these two, it is equally possible they are indeed rogue operators seeking vengeance on Skripal for something other than being a spy. We are in dangerous territory here and Mrs May should tread carefully instead of trying to be seen as superwoman standing up to nasty Putin in advance of a possible general election.

Jane Ghosh


So Russia issued two passports with consecutive serial numbers to two persons who don’t exist?

Ralph Jones

Rochester, Kent

After the shocking nerve gas attack and now the news that the police have identified the Russian agents, is it not time to re-open the case of the Smolensk air crash? On 10 April 2010 the Polish president Lech Kaczynski, along with everyone else on board, died although it was a low-energy, low-angle impact on to mud. It occurred, after all, in Russia with the same leader as now, namely Vladimir Putin, and I have campaigned, lectured and written extensively about this over the years, so this issue like Katyn before has not and will not go away.

Marek Laskiewicz

PWWB (the Polish Association in GB)

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