Published time: 24 Jun, 2018 15:32
Police officers stand guard outside of the home Sergei Skripal on March 6, 2018. © Toby Melville / Reuters
The house of Sergei Skripal will be purchased by UK taxpayers, according to officials cited by The Sunday Times. The move has prompted a range of responses online - from cover-up allegations to jokes about home ownership.
Taxpayers will be footing the bill for Skripal's home, which is expected to be bought by the UK government for around £350,000 (US$464,000), The Sunday Times reported, citing Whitehall officials. They will also pay for the home of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who fell ill after coming into contact with the nerve agent Novichok. That house is expected to cost taxpayers around £430,000. All in all, the purchase of both homes, cars, and other possessions, will amount to a hefty £1 million.
But the government's decision to snatch up Skripal's house has raised eyebrows online, including from those who believe the UK has "something to hide," since there remains zero evidence to back claims that Russia was behind the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Others commented that such a huge sum of money could be used to help get the Grenfell Tower victims back on their feet, after a tragic fire swept over the building and killed 72 people last year.
Another suggested it could go towards the National Health Service (NHS).
Other taxpayers, however, were able to make light of the situation, jesting about their unexpected "home ownership."
Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury, UK on March 4. Although London and other Western nations were quick to point the finger at the Kremlin, there remains zero proof that Russia was involved in any way. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement and offered its full cooperation in the investigation.
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