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Politics

Russia Issues an Ultimatum to Kremlin Critic Navalny to Return or Face Jail

Russia Issues an Ultimatum to Kremlin Critic Navalny to Return or Face Jail
Photo Credit: Getty Image

In August, Navalny, one of the leading opponents of President Vladimir Putin, was airlifted to Germany for treatment after collapsing on a plane in what Germany and other Western nations say was an attempt to kill him with a nerve agent from Novichok.

Russia has however said that it had no evidence that he had been poisoned and denied any involvement in the incident.

On Monday, the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) accused Navalny of breaching the terms of a suspended prison sentence he is currently serving for a 2014 conviction and of evading the oversight of the criminal inspection authority of Russia.

Citing a report on his condition in the British medical journal The Lancet, it said Navalny was released from the Berlin hospital on Sept. 20 and that by Oct. 12, all signs of what it called his disease had gone.

“Therefore the convicted man is not fulfilling all of the obligations placed on him by the court, and is evading the supervision of the Criminal Inspectorate,” it said.

Navalny is serving a three-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence for a burglary case that he claims were racially motivated. On Dec. 30th, his probation term ends.

The prison service said in a statement late on Monday that it had summoned Navalny to report to the inspection authority and that if his reported breach of the conditions of the suspended sentence were found to be valid, his suspended sentence could be converted to a genuine jail time.

No deadline was stated by the prison service, but Navalny shared a screenshot of a letter to his lawyer stating he had to return and show up at a Moscow office until 0900 on Tuesday.

On Twitter, his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said that it was unlikely for Navalny to return in time, that after his overdose, he was already convalescing, and that he accused the prison service of working on Kremlin orders.

“There’s no way he could appear at the Moscow Criminal Inspectorate tomorrow. But does the FSIN really care about common sense? They were given an order, they are fulfilling it,” she wrote.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed Is a Forsige breaking news reporter and editor, covering Europe, Africa, and the U.S. from Abuja.

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