Skripal in Prison — The First Book to Report the Truth
Editor’s note: John Helmer of Dances With the Bears is one of the two people who have done the most work on Her Majesty’s Skripal fiasco (the other being Rob Slane of The Blogmire). He’s the longest-serving foreign reporter in Russia (arrived to cover the Perestroika and simply never left) and with unnerving regularity manages to know more than you would think would be possible for one Australian in Moscow. Now he has a book out on the whole thing.
It is exactly two years since the case of two Russians, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, began with their collapse on a park bench in the middle of England on the afternoon of March 4, 2018.
On their anniversary it is necessary to tell this story. But it isn’t the story of what happened. This is because the only people who can tell that one, the Skripals, are locked away in isolation, guarded by determined men under secret government orders.
Instead, this is the story of what didn’t happen – provably didn’t happen because it was quite impossible circumstantially; and because the legal papers warranting that it did have not been signed by a judge, tested in a court of law, or released in public.
The facts which you have seen, heard or read about the incident of March 4, 2018, have been falsified. Everything that has flowed from them is false too. Understanding this is a start to the other story, and so something solid to work from – not missed until now; more like seen but disbelieved. As if the truth were fiction, and the fiction truth.
This is the story of how the largest and longest criminal investigation in modern British history ended in a prosecution without evidence of the crime, the weapon, the crime scene, and even of the crime victims. Allegations there are; evidence admissible in a British court of law there is not. That’s to say, a prosecution which will not be presented in court, before no judge and jury; with no witnesses on oath; and no verdict. That is no prosecution at all.
To say otherwise, as do the British Government, its allies abroad, and every one of its mass-circulation media without exception, is a lie. The victims, it turns out, are held in a British prison, at a secret location, incommunicado, without access to lawyers to defend them, without contact with their families, or the consular representatives of the state whose passports they hold. No court has judged them or sentenced them to this punishment.
The Prime Ministers, Theresa May & Boris Johnson, lied.
MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, lied.
The BBC lied.
The coroner broke the law.
The police and prosecutors faked the evidence.
Russian intelligence agents tried to rescue Sergei Skripal but were foiled in the attempt. This is the story of what didn’t happen, and the truth of what did.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
- “You’ve lost me John” — Mark Urban, BBC
- “Other books will follow on the Skripals, but they will struggle to match the texture of Urban’s research, its knowledgeable hinterland” — The Times
- “There are people out there who know exactly what happened and who are biding their time before revealing all. I am not such a person, nor would I want to be, but I believe that such people do exist” — Rob Slane, The Blogmire
- “One of the most experienced foreign journalists in Moscow, John Helmer has lived in Russia for the last 30 years and knows more about it than necessary” — Andrei Shitov, Chief Political Observer, Tass
- “The book explains why the truth, though known, has not been told” — Katrina van den Heuvel, Editor, The Nation, New York.
- “You are picking on a dead man who can’t answer for himself” – Joe Lauria, Editor, Consortium News
- “[John Helmer is] a notorious conspiracy theorist” — Jeremy Kinsman, former Canadian ambassador to Russia, foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Source: Dances With Bears