Yulia Skripal was poisoned with a nerve agent just days after gaining access to a £150,000 ‘secret bank account’ with proceeds from a house sale in Britain, it has emerged.
The money had belonged to her brother Alexander who died in mysterious circumstances in St Petersburg last year.
She had been given power of attorney over the cash in late February from her father, double agent Sergei Skripal, poisoned by nerve agent Novichok alongside her on March 4 in Salisbury.
The cash – now in an unknown Russian bank – was from the sale of the house he had shared in Britain with his ex-wife, Natalia, like Yulia, 33, the daughter of a GRU military intelligence colonel.
Natalia – now married to a tennis coach from Wales – sold the house, and paid half the sum to her ex-husband.
The ‘secret bank account’ was disclosed by Sergei’s niece Viktoria Skripal, 45, who aims this week to travel to meet Yulia in hospital in Salisbury.
The British authorities are preparing to grant her a visa so that she can become the first family member to meet Yulia, and also see her uncle Sergei, who remains in a coma.
Of Yulia’s current condition, she said: ‘The only thing I discovered from our (Russian) diplomats is that Yulia has opened her eyes, can eat, drink and has even said a few words.’
She and other family members have not yet spoken to her by phone or social media.
On the money she said: ‘Nobody knows this yet.
‘At the end of February, Yulia received a general power of attorney from her father Sergei in order to take ownership of a secret bank account that belonged to her late brother Alexander.
‘After his divorce, his wife Natalia paid him $200,000 USD, and he kept this money. It is in a Russian bank now.’
Viktoria – from Yaroslavl – has repeated concerns she raised last month over Yulia’s mysterious unnamed boyfriend, who she had intended to wed.