Russian court orders Alexei Navalny to prison, igniting protests, global condemnation
FSIN accused the oppositionist of non-compliance with the rules of probation
The Federal Penitentiary Service delivered an ultimatum to opposition leader Alexei Navalny: he must immediately return from Germany and appear at the Moscow branch of the department on Tuesday morning; otherwise he will have to go to jail.
In August, Navalny was taken to Germany for treatment after he fell ill during an internal flight across Russia. Germany and other Western countries are convinced that he was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group.
Russian authorities say they have not seen evidence of poisoning and deny any involvement of Moscow in the incident.
The FSIN on Monday accused Navalny of violating the rules of probation and evading appropriate control. In 2014, the oppositionist was sentenced to three and a half years of probation on charges of embezzlement, which he himself calls politically motivated. His trial period continues to this day and will expire on December 30.
Referring to an article by the British magazine Lancet about Navalny’s treatment, the agency said that the oppositionist was discharged from a Berlin hospital on September 20, and by October 12 “he had passed all the consequences of his illness.”.
“Thus, the conditionally convicted person does not fulfill the duties assigned to him by the court and evades the control of the criminal executive inspection,” the FSIN said in a statement..
The department also stated that it had sent Navalny a notice of the need to appear at the criminal executive inspectorate. Otherwise, if the fact of non-compliance with the duties assigned to him is confirmed, the conditional period may be replaced by a real one..
The FSIN’s statement did not specify a specific timeframe, but Navalny posted a screenshot of a message sent to his lawyer, which says that he must appear at the Moscow branch of the department by 09:00 on Tuesday morning..
Opposition spokesman Kira Yarmysh tweeted that Navalny cannot return on time, since he is still recovering from the poisoning. “Tomorrow he could not have ended up in the Moscow Criminal Inspectorate. But does the FSIN really care about common sense? They were given an order, they are working it out, “she wrote.
Earlier, the Kremlin said that Navalny could return to Russia at any time, like any other Russian citizen..
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