18 Jan 2021 18:28

Court orders Navalny remain in jail until at least Feb 15 - lawyer

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) - The Khimki City Court outside of Moscow ordered at a hearing at a local police station on Monday that Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny be taken into pretrial custody for at least 30 days, until February 15.

"The court has arrested Navalny for 30 days, that is, until February 15," Navalny's defense lawyer Vadim Kobzev told Interfax.

Navalny himself described the proceedings as "the ultimate form of lawlessness."

The Interior Ministry explained earlier that the hearing was held not in a courthouse, but at the police station where Navalny was sent after returning from Germany on Sunday because he lacked fresh Covid-19 test results.

Navalny was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday upon returning from Germany, where he was undergoing medical treatment and convalescing for about five months.

On August 20, he felt unwell on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, was taken to an Omsk hospital's ICU in a coma, and was subsequently transferred to the Charite clinic in Berlin.

Navalny, as well as doctors and the authorities in Germany, has said he was poisoned with a Novichok-type military-grade toxin. The Russian authorities have denied such allegations and consider them groundless.

Russia launched a preliminary inquiry into the Navalny incident, but did not open a criminal case, as national law enforcement agencies decided there were no grounds to do so.

Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service put Navalny on the wanted list on December 29, 2020, over a violation of the terms of his parole in the so-called Yves Rocher case.

"Throughout 2020, convict Navalny committed numerous violations of the terms of his suspended sentence, under which he was obliged to show up at the penitentiary inspectorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service's office for Moscow for registration on certain days twice a month," it said.

Navalny's summonses to the police for such registration were suspended "while he was undergoing treatment at the Charite hospital in Germany."

However, "despite the absence of objective reasons, he did not show up for registration with the Federal Penitentiary Service's office from October 2020 to the end of his probation period, thus once again violating the terms of his probation period," it said.

"In line with Russian Penal Code Article 190, Part 4, if a person given a suspended prison sentence systematically fails to comply with the obligations imposed on them by court or evades oversight during their probation period, the chief of a penitentiary inspectorate shall ask the court to retract the suspended sentence and order that the person serve the actual sentence handed down by court," the service said.

Moscow's Simonovsky District Court is to hear the motion from the Federal Penitentiary Service's office for Moscow on February 2.