A day after his arrest, Alexei Navalny is tried – in a court at a police station. The Kremlin critic speaks of a new level of “lawlessness”.
Moscow (dpa) – The Russian judiciary is conducting an urgent trial against the Kremlin’s opponent, Alexej Navalny, who has returned to Moscow, directly in a police station.
After returning from Berlin to Moscow, there was no trace of the 44-year-old since Sunday. On Monday, he suddenly found himself in a police building outside a court. Lawyers criticized this as unprecedented – even by Russian standards. In a video on Twitter, Navalny complained that the judiciary in Russia had reached a new level of “lawlessness.”
“I’ve often seen the rule of law ridiculed, but this grandpa in his bunker is now so scared … that the criminal procedure code is just being torn up and thrown in the dump,” Navalny said in the makeshift courtroom. By “grandfather in his bunker” Navalny means Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It is impossible what is happening here.”
Nawalny’s lawyers had apparently received a letter stating that a trial would begin in the police building, which was then opened without anyone having been able to prepare. Nawalny’s lawyers and associates had previously stated that there was no sign of opposition.
Navalny left Germany on Sunday after five months, where he was recovering from an attack with the neurotoxin Novitschok. After arriving in Moscow, he was arrested. The judiciary had expelled him to be sought. The Kremlin critic is alleged to have violated probation requirements in a previous criminal case while in Germany. In particular, the prison system accuses him of violating reporting requirements.
The authorities want the suspended sentence to be converted into real detention. Navalny criticizes the action against him as politically motivated.
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