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Iran Press TV

Russian opposition figure Navalny arrested upon arrival in Moscow

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 17 January 2021 11:52 PM

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who had violated the terms of his suspended prison sentence, was arrested upon arrival in Moscow.

Navalny, who was returning home from Germany for the first time since he was allegedly poisoned last summer, may be jailed for 3.5 years for flouting the terms of the suspended prison sentence he had received over a theft case on December 30, 2014.

Navalny, 45, was taken ill on a domestic flight on August 20 last year. He was later transported to the German capital, where he was hospitalized with alleged poisoning. His aides had already claimed that he had been poisoned before the domestic Russian flight, blaming Moscow.

But the Russian doctors who examined Navalny before he was moved to Germany said at the time that they had found no trace of a toxic substance in his blood sample.

The Russian government has also denied any involvement in any attack on the opposition figure.

Moscow maintains that Western media coverage of the case of the Russian opposition figure serves as a pretext to promote new sanctions against Russia.

The arrest of Navalny may reignite political pressure on the West to tighten sanctions on Russia, especially against an $11.6 billion project to build a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Minutes before he was detained, Navalny had said, "I am not afraid. I know that I am right. I know all the criminal cases against me are fabricated."

Moscow's prison service (FSIN) said in a statement Navalny had been detained due to the alleged violations of his suspended prison sentence and would be held in custody until a court hearing later this month that will rule whether to convert his suspended sentence into a real 3.5-year jail term.

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