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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

UK policeman discharged from hospital after ex-spy poisoning attack

It came as a British judge said that it is unclear whether Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia will recover from the incident

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was left seriously ill after responding to the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK, earlier this month. (Wiltshire Police via AP)
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was left seriously ill after responding to the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK, earlier this month. (Wiltshire Police via AP)

A British police officer, one of the first to respond to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent, was released from hospital on Thursday after more than two weeks of treatment, officials said.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was left seriously ill after taking part in the early response to the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

"People ask me how I am feeling – but there are really no words to explain how I feel right now," he said in statement issued by his local force. "Surreal is the word that keeps cropping up - and it really has been completely surreal."

It came as a British judge said in a ruling that the nerve agent attack may have left the Skripals with compromised mental capacity and it is unclear whether they will recover.

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Read more:

Russian ambassador accuses UK of hiding details about poisoning of ex-spy in Salisbury

Theresa May tells allies to beware Russia, urges them to expel Putin's spies

‘No antidote’ to Novichok so spy will die, says Russian scientist

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"The precise effect of their exposure on their long term health remains unclear albeit medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree," Judge David Williams said in his ruling.

Judge Williams was giving permission for blood samples to be taken from the Skripals by doctors to allow chemical weapons inspectors to carry out tests.

An unidentified consultant who is treating the Skripals said they were both heavily sedated, unable to communicate and that it was not possible to saw when or to what extent either may regain mental capacity, according to the ruling.

They are both in a physically stable condition, the consultant said.

The British government has said that Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union, was used in the March 4 attack.

UK prime minister Theresa May also said that it is “highly likely” that Moscow is responsible for the attempted murder. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations of Moscow's responsibility as "nonsense".