Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said Tuesday that Russian prison authorities are seeking his incarceration for allegedly breaching the terms of a suspended sentence and probation he received as part of a 2014 embezzlement case.
“Putin is so enraged that I survived his poisoning that he ordered FSIN [Federal Prison Service] to go to court and demand that my suspended sentence is changed to a real one,” Navalny wrote on Twitter, while providing a screen shot of the legal request filed Monday with a Moscow court.
Navalny’s supporters say the Kremlin is using the threat of jail to prevent him from returning to Russia from Germany, where he is currently recovering after being poisoned with a nerve agent in August 2020.
A staunch critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Navalny claims the Russian security service carried out the poisoning on Putin’s behalf. Navalny was transported to a Berlin hospital where he spent weeks in a coma. The Kremlin has denied involvement.
In December, the FSIN ordered Navalny to immediately return to Moscow and fulfil the conditions of a suspended sentence.
However, Navalny maintains his conviction in 2014 was politically motivated and notes that the European Court for Human Rights has also ruled the conviction as unlawful.
He also points out the suspended sentence was to end on December 30, thus rendering the request moot.
As a prominent opposition politician, Navalny had amassed widespread support in Russia by objecting to Putin’s policies.
“They seem to be in hysterics wondering what else to do to prevent Navalny from returning to Russia,” his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on Twitter.
Navalny has said that he plans to return to Russia after he is fully recovered.
wmr/rt (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Alexei Navalny: Russian prison service demands jail term The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.