Readers respond to the accusations against Putin and the naming of two Russian suspects in the Skripal case
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’.”
• 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.