15 Feb 2024 20:49

Moscow court issues arrest warrant for Navalny's defense lawyer Mikhailova

MOSCOW. Feb 15 (Interfax) - Moscow's Basmanny District Court has granted a request from investigators to issue an arrest warrant for Olga Mikhailova, a lawyer for Alexei Navalny, in a criminal case on a count of affiliation with an extremist group, the court told Interfax.

"The court ruled to take Mikhailova into custody as a pretrial restrictive measure for two months starting from the moment she is detained in Russia or is extradited to Russia," the court said on Thursday.

Mikhailova has been charged in absentia with affiliation with an extremist group. She has been placed on the international wanted list.

Mikhailova said earlier that she has always fulfilled only her duties of an attorney to defend Navalny and represent his interests in various bodies of authority. She is now outside Russia and currently does not plan to return, saying she believes that she "will be more useful free than incarcerated."

The court also ordered the issuing of an arrest warrant for Alexander Fedulov, another lawyer for Navalny, on the same charges.

Three lawyers of Navalny - Vadim Kobzev, Alexei Liptser and Igor Sergunin - were arrested in October 2023 in the extremist network case.

Navalny was convicted of fraud and some other crimes, including the establishment of an extremist network, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (branded extremist and banned in Russia). He is serving 19 years in a high-security penitentiary.