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Penitentiary service asks court to replace Navalny’s suspended sentence with jail term

Navalny was detained on his return to Russia from Berlin on January 17

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. A representative of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service has asked during a session of the Simonovsky Court held at the Moscow City Court to replace Russian blogger Alexey Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with the real one, which comes up to 3.5 years behind bars.

"Due to numerous violations of the rules of a suspended sentence, I ask the court to cancel Navalny’s suspended sentence and implement the real sentence coming up to 3 years and 6 months in a general correctional facility," he said.

Navalny’s case

Navalny was detained on his return to Russia from Berlin on January 17 for numerous violations of his suspended sentence.

A spokesman for the Federal Penitentiary Service’s Moscow department told TASS earlier that Navalny was obliged to appear at penitentiary inspection office at least twice a month on the days appointed by the penitentiary inspection. However, he skipped such obligatory visits at least six times in 2020, namely on January 13, January 27, February 3, March 16, July 6, and August 17. Official warnings about possible replacement of the suspended sentence by a real prison term were issued in each of these cases.

Navalny was not summoned for registration during the period of his treatment at Berlin’s Charite clinic. However, according to official reports from it, he was released on September 23, 2020. He did not reply to a summons for October 23. Only a month later, i.e. on November 23, he notified the penitentiary authorities that he was staying at Berlin’s Hotel Arabel for a rehabilitation period. However, no official documents confirming his undergoing treatment were not provided, whereas the mere fact of undergoing rehabilitation is not a sufficient ground to skip registration with penitentiary bodies.

On December 30, 2014, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court handed Navalny a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence and a probation period of five years and a fine of 500,000 rubles ($6,800) on charges of fraud and money laundering in the Yves Rocher case. On April 25, 2018, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the verdict as legal and grounded.