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Navalny detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo

Navalny will be in custody until a court ruling, the press service for the Moscow department of the Federal Penitentiary Service said

MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny who was put on the wanted list for missing several criminal inspection registrations as a person under a suspended sentence for the Yves Rocher case has been detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, the press service for the Moscow department of the Federal Penitentiary Service said on Sunday.

"On January 17, Alexey Navalny who is under a suspended sentence was detained by officers of the search section of the Moscow department of the Federal Penitentiary Service at the Sheremetyevo airport. He has been on the wanted list since December 29, 2020 for repeated violations of the probation term. Further measures of restraint will be determined by court. Navalny will be in custody until a court ruling," it said.

"Navalny was detained under the December 29, 2020 resolution of the chief of the Federal Penitentiary Service’s Moscow department which put convict Navalny on the wanted list for repeated violations of the terms of the probation period and issued an instruction to detain him when his whereabout are identified," it added.

According to the press service, Navalny’s attorney was notified about his placing on the wanted list and about a motion referred to Moscow’s Simonovsky district court on revoking his suspended sentence and enforcing the court verdict.

On December 30, 2014, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky district court handed Navalny a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence with a probation period of five years and a fine of 500,000 rubles (6,800 US dollars) on charges of fraud and money legalization. On August 4, 2017, the probation term was extended for one year.

According to the penitentiary authority, Navalny repeatedly violated the probation term throughout 2020 and missed obligatory registration with the penitentiary inspection twice a month on certain days. Such violations were reported in January 2020 (two), in February, March, July, and August. The last time he appeared for registration was on August 3, 2020. He has been repeatedly warned that such violations could entail revocation of the suspended sentence and its replacement with a real prison term. 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. Later, he confirmed this information in a notification to the penitentiary authority. "Nevertheless, despite the lack of objective reasons, he never appeared for registration from October 2020 to the end of the probation period, thus violating the probation terms," the press service explained.

The press service stressed that the principle of unavoidability of responsibility and strict obedience by the law is applicable to all Russian citizens. Thus, more than 15,000 suspended sentences were revoked by court verdicts and replaced with real prison terms in 2019. "We would like to stress that this is practiced in respect of those convicts who missed their chance to walk free," it added.

Navalny arrived by a Pobeda flight from Berlin.

Lots of journalists gathered at the Berlin airport hoping he would speak to them before registering for the flight but he never appeared at the check-in desk. According to the Bild newspaper, two policemen brought Navalny’s and his wife’s documents right to the passport control desk. Navalny arrived to the airstair in a back Audi car right before the takeoff.