Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny returning home, faces possible arrest
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has announced his return to Moscow from Georgia on January 17, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports.
“The question of whether ‘to return or not’ never stood before me, simply because I did not leave the country. I ended up in Germany, because I was taken there in an intensive care box, all for one simple reason: they tried to kill me, ” the politician said on social media.
Since August, Navalny has been in Germany, where he was taken after being hospitalized in Omsk. Several laboratories have concluded that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical agent from the Novichok group. After treatment at the Berlin Charite clinic, Navalny underwent rehabilitation in Germany.
Navalny has accused the Russian authorities of the attempted assassination and a team of international journalists investigating the case claim to have found out the names of the alleged poisoners – employees of the Russian Federal Security Service.
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Russian authorities are not investigating the poisoning and deny any connection to the incident.
Is Navalny facing arrest?
In addition, Navalny is currently accused of criminal libel against a World War II veteran. Under this article, he may be facing a fine and community work of up to 240 hours.
The Federal Penitentiary Service demanded that the court send Navalny to prison for 3.5 years under the revoked suspended sentence by a 2014 criminal case against him. The department believes that the departure of the opposition leader to Germany violated the conditions of his probation.
In late December, the Investigative Committee opened a new case against Navalny – one related to the embezzlement of money of the Anti-Corruption Fund. Under these charges, he may be facing up to 10 years in prison.
The politician himself believes that the investigations were launched in order to prevent him from returning to the country.
“Putin, who gave the order to kill me, is screeching all over his bunker and telling his servants to do everything to stop me from coming back. The servants are acting as usual: they are fabricating new criminal cases against me. But what they do there is not much of interest to me. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city, I miss them,” Navalny said on January 13.