Identification of Novichok – Salisbury Incident 4th March 2018

Peter Beswick made this Freedom of Information request to Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Defence Science and Technology Laboratory,

Please could you tell me where the forensic sample came from (object / biological feature) and geographical location in Salisbury that led to the identification of Novichok as the substance involved in the attack on the Skripals.

Also please inform me when it was collected and when the discovery of the type of Novichok became known.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Beswick

1 Attachment

Classification: UK OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Beswick,

Please find attached our response to your FOI request.

Regards
Dstl Secretariat

show quoted sections

Dear Defence Science and Technology Laboratory,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory's handling of my FOI request 'Identification of Novichok – Salisbury Incident 4th March 2018'.

Your response to my FoIR does not answer my Request. I have checked through the links that you kindly provided but I am none the wiser the wiser.

I want to know where the sample(s) came from that initially identified the Nocvichok concerned. I am fully aware that the OPCW confirmed DSTL's finding but I want to know where the original sample came from and when.

The link you provided here may give a clue to the answer but does not give me the specific answer.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/h...

"Samples from the victims have been tested by experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, who are world-renowned experts in the field. As Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley announced yesterday, that forensic analysis has revealed the presence of a nerve agent"

Identifying the presence of a Nerve Agent is very different to identifying the specific Novichok involved.

I therefore still wish to know where the sample came from, if it was from the victims was it in the form of skin swabs or blood / tissue tests. Or if it was a sample taken from an object eg chair, table, handbag, wallet, handkerchief etc or piece if clothing please let me know where the original sample(s) came from, when it was taken and when was the specific Novichok involved was identified?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Peter Beswick

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Dear Mr Beswick,

Your request for an internal review has been forwarded by Dstl to the MOD Information Rights Compliance Team. We acknowledge receipt of your email of 16 January and we can confirm that a review is underway (reference above).

The Department's target for completing internal reviews is 20 working days from date of receipt and we therefore aim to complete the review and respond to you by 13 February 2019. We are currently experiencing a heavy demand for reviews at the moment; in the interests of providing you with a realistic indication of when you should expect a response, we should advise that the majority are currently taking between 20 and 40 working days to complete.

The review will involve a full, independent reconsideration of the handling of the case as well as the final decision on the use of the exemptions.

Yours sincerely,

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Beswick,

 

Please find attached a response to your recent request for internal review
into FOI2018/15985 relating to the Novichok incident.

 

I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team