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Russia: Navalny detained at Sheremetyevo airport by Penitentiary Service personnel
02:11

Russia: Navalny detained at Sheremetyevo airport by Penitentiary Service personnel

Russian Federation, Moscow Region
January 17, 2021 at 20:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was detained by personnel from the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service at passport control in Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on Sunday.

According to the Penitentiary Service​, Navalny was detained because since December 29 he has been on a wanted list 'for systematic violations of the conditions of the probation period related to the Yves Rocher case.'

As said in the Penitentiary Service statement, 'earlier, the convict’s lawyer became familiarised with the order of putting A.A. Navalny on the wanted list, as well as with the order sent by the Moscow criminal executive inspectorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to the Simonovsky District Court of Moscow on the cancellation of the suspended sentence and the execution of the sentence.'

The Penitentiary Service also noted that any further pre-trial restrictions on Navalny will be decided by the court, and until that moment he will remain in custody.

Navalny returned to Moscow from Berlin, where he had been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation since August.

Already in the morning, hundreds of people, including journalists, gathered at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. However, Navalny did not appear in the registration hall. He was brought straight to the airport in a black Audi government car with emergency vehicle lighting. It is reported that German law enforcement officers decided to escort him directly to the plane for safety reasons at the very last moment.

Earlier this month, Navalny announced his intention to return from Berlin to Moscow aboard a Pobeda Airlines flight on January 17, following his almost five-months stay in Germany where he was recovering after his alleged poisoning with the Novichok nerve agent in August.

At the end of December, over three months after his discharge from hospital, Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service demanded that Navalny visit its offices in accordance with the terms of a suspended sentence that he received for a 2014 embezzlement case. The agency warned that he would face a jail term if he failed to appear by December 29, a deadline he missed.

On January 12, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service formally requested that Navalny be jailed for breaching the terms of the suspended prison sentence. In a statement, they said they were obliged to take 'all available steps' to detain Navalny upon his return.

Supporters of the opposition figure planned to greet him upon his arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport despite the gathering having not been authorised.

Navalny arrived in the German capital aboard a medical plane on August 22 last year, after falling ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. The plane had been forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was rushed to hospital.

The German government has said independent laboratories from France and Sweden had confirmed findings by German military toxicologists that Navalny was ‘poisoned’ with a Novichok nerve agent. Tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also suggest Navalny was exposed to Novichok.

Russian authorities have called for evidence of the alleged poisoning and deny accusations of any Russian state involvement in the incident. Navalny had been convalescing in Germany following his discharge from hospital.

Russia: Navalny detained at Sheremetyevo airport by Penitentiary Service personnel
02:11
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Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was detained by personnel from the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service at passport control in Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on Sunday.

According to the Penitentiary Service​, Navalny was detained because since December 29 he has been on a wanted list 'for systematic violations of the conditions of the probation period related to the Yves Rocher case.'

As said in the Penitentiary Service statement, 'earlier, the convict’s lawyer became familiarised with the order of putting A.A. Navalny on the wanted list, as well as with the order sent by the Moscow criminal executive inspectorate of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to the Simonovsky District Court of Moscow on the cancellation of the suspended sentence and the execution of the sentence.'

The Penitentiary Service also noted that any further pre-trial restrictions on Navalny will be decided by the court, and until that moment he will remain in custody.

Navalny returned to Moscow from Berlin, where he had been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation since August.

Already in the morning, hundreds of people, including journalists, gathered at Berlin Brandenburg Airport. However, Navalny did not appear in the registration hall. He was brought straight to the airport in a black Audi government car with emergency vehicle lighting. It is reported that German law enforcement officers decided to escort him directly to the plane for safety reasons at the very last moment.

Earlier this month, Navalny announced his intention to return from Berlin to Moscow aboard a Pobeda Airlines flight on January 17, following his almost five-months stay in Germany where he was recovering after his alleged poisoning with the Novichok nerve agent in August.

At the end of December, over three months after his discharge from hospital, Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service demanded that Navalny visit its offices in accordance with the terms of a suspended sentence that he received for a 2014 embezzlement case. The agency warned that he would face a jail term if he failed to appear by December 29, a deadline he missed.

On January 12, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service formally requested that Navalny be jailed for breaching the terms of the suspended prison sentence. In a statement, they said they were obliged to take 'all available steps' to detain Navalny upon his return.

Supporters of the opposition figure planned to greet him upon his arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport despite the gathering having not been authorised.

Navalny arrived in the German capital aboard a medical plane on August 22 last year, after falling ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. The plane had been forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was rushed to hospital.

The German government has said independent laboratories from France and Sweden had confirmed findings by German military toxicologists that Navalny was ‘poisoned’ with a Novichok nerve agent. Tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also suggest Navalny was exposed to Novichok.

Russian authorities have called for evidence of the alleged poisoning and deny accusations of any Russian state involvement in the incident. Navalny had been convalescing in Germany following his discharge from hospital.