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“Mockery Of Justice”: Kremlin Critic At Court Hearing After Airport Arrest

“This is ultimate lawlessness,” Alexei Navalny mentioned.

Moscow, Russia:

Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny mentioned Monday his remedy was past a “mockery of justice” as he was introduced earlier than a rapidly organised courtroom a day after his dramatic airport arrest.

With calls rising within the West for Navalny’s launch, he was introduced right into a courtroom arrange at a police station in Khimki on the outskirts of Moscow the place he was taken following his detention on Sunday evening.

Police seized Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most distinguished opponent, at a border management submit at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport lower than an hour after he returned to Russia from Germany for the primary time since he was poisoned with a nerve agent in August.

In a video posted by his staff from contained in the listening to, an incredulous Navalny mentioned he didn’t perceive how a courtroom session may happen at a police station and why nobody had been notified till the final minute.

“I’ve seen a lot of mockery of justice, but the old man in the bunker (Putin) is so afraid that they have blatantly torn up and thrown away” Russia’s prison code, Navalny mentioned.

“This is ultimate lawlessness.”

“Amazing absurdity”

In one other video, Navalny referred to as for the listening to to be open to all journalists, after solely pro-Kremlin media had been allowed to attend.

“I demand that this procedure be as open as possible, so that all media have the opportunity to observe the amazing absurdity of what is happening here,” he mentioned.

About 100 folks, principally journalists, had gathered within the snow outdoors the police station and several other police vans had been ready close by with their engines operating.

Russia’s FSIN jail service mentioned Sunday that it had detained Navalny, 44, for violating the phrases of a suspended sentence he was given in 2014, on fraud fees he says had been politically motivated.

Navalny can also be dealing with potential new prison fees underneath a probe launched late final yr by Russian investigators who say he misappropriated over $four million price of donations.

The main Kremlin critic emerged a decade along with his Anti-Corruption Foundation publishing anti-graft investigations that usually reveal the lavish existence of the Russian elite.

He has repeatedly led large-scale road protests towards Putin, most lately in the summertime of 2019, and was gearing up for one more problem to authorities throughout elections to the decrease home State Duma in September.


He was evacuated to Germany after falling violently unwell on a flight over Siberia in August from what Western consultants ultimately concluded was a poisoning with Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny accused Putin of ordering the assault, a declare the Kremlin vehemently denies. Russian police haven’t opened an investigation citing an absence of proof.

Western condemnation

His arrest on Sunday drew widespread Western condemnation, with the United States, European Union, France and Canada all calling for his launch.

Others joined that decision on Monday, with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen saying Russian authorities ought to “immediately release him and ensure his safety”.

The United Nations human rights workplace mentioned it was “deeply troubled” by the arrest, whereas German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas mentioned it was “totally incomprehensible”.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the detention as “appalling”.

“He must be immediately released. Rather than persecuting Mr Navalny Russia should explain how a chemical weapon came to be used on Russian soil,” Raab wrote on Twitter.

Navalny was poisoned with the identical chemical mentioned to have been used within the tried homicide of former spy Sergei Skripal within the English city of Salisbury in 2018.

Russia has hit again on the condemnation, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday saying it was an try to distract consideration from home issues in Western international locations.

“It looks like Western politicians see this as an opportunity to divert attention from the deepest crisis the liberal development model has found itself in,” he mentioned.

Russia continuously accuses the West of unfair criticism of its home insurance policies pointing to divisions in Western international locations like people who led to the storming of the US Capitol or the Yellow Vests protests in France.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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