The Russian government critic Alexei Navalny is said to be arrested after returning to his home country. This was reported by the Russian media and the AP news agency, citing a letter from the Russian prison authority. Navalny is said to be arrested before a court hearing in which he is supposed to participate.
The background to this is an alleged violation of the suspended prison sentence to which Navalny was sentenced in 2014.
The Russian judicial authorities had requested that Navalny’s suspended sentence be converted into a real prison sentence for disregarding the requirement to report to the authorities in person on a regular basis. A trial is scheduled for January 29th.
Navalny: Probation expired in 2019
Most recently, the opposition did not follow a request from December to report personally to the authority’s office within a few days. Navalny announced that the suspended sentence had already ended on December 30, 2019.
On Wednesday Navalny announced that he would return to Russia this Sunday. Since he was poisoned with the neurotoxin Novitschok last August, Navalny has been in Germany to heal. First he was treated at the Berlin Charité. Navalny blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poison attack. SPIEGEL also revealed how employees of the Russian secret service FSB participated in the attempted murder.
Navalny himself contributed to the investigation: For example, he pretended to be the assistant of a Putin adviser – and got an FSB agent to reveal details of the attack plan to him.
The Russian government continues to deny involvement in the case.
While Navalny was in Germany, the Russian judiciary had opened another case against him for “large-scale fraud” – apparently to build up further pressure. Navalny is alleged to have diverted 356 million rubles (around € 3.9 million) in donations from non-profit organizations for personal purposes. Navalny denies the allegations.
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Russia Alexei Navalny arrested return Russia
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