Russian prosecutors say there is no need for a criminal investigation into the Navalny case

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian prosecutors said on Thursday they saw no need for a criminal investigation into the sudden illness of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who poisoned his supporters’ suspicions, and found no sign of any crime. .

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivers a speech at a rally calling for the release of prisoner protesters who were detained during a rally on Friday, September 29, 2019. REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov / File Photo

The Interior Ministry said it had begun a preliminary investigation into the case, but this was routine.

Navalny, 44, was flown to Germany on Saturday after crashing during a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. He is now in a medically-induced coma in a Berlin hospital.

The hospital said its initial medical examination showed poisoning, although Russian doctors who had treated Navalny in a Siberian hospital had contradicted that diagnosis.

On Thursday, the office of the Russian Prosecutor General said that there was no indication that a crime had been committed against him.

It saw no basis to open a criminal investigation, the office said in a statement.

The German authorities have agreed to cooperate with Russia on the case, the prosecutor’s office said, asking Germany to share information about its treatment and promised to return some in return.

The Siberian branch of the Interior Ministry’s transport unit said it was conducting a preliminary investigation after Navalny’s flight made an emergency landing in the city of Omsk.

It had inspected the hotel room where Navalny had stayed in Tomsk and the routes he had taken in the city, such as analyzing video surveillance images from the area, it said. The ministry did not find any drugs other than potential drugs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated the government’s position that there was no need for a formal investigation, but that preliminary checks were always carried out in such situations.


Navalny supporters believe he was poisoned by his enemies. He has been a thorn in the side of the Kremlin for more than a decade, revealing what he says is high-level grafting and mobilizes crowds of young Protestants.

He has been detained several times for organizing public meetings and rallies and accused of his investigations into corruption. He was banned from running in the 2018 presidential election.

The Kremlin said this week that it wanted the circumstances surrounding Navalny’s condition to come to light and that it hoped the incident would not hurt its relations with the West.

Germany, France and other countries have called on Russia to conduct research. European Union ministers will discuss Navalny’s situation this week.

Russia has been under broad Western sanctions for six years since its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and a distance from European nations other than the United States could further hurt its economy.

Reported by Anastasia Teterevleva, Maria Kiselyova and Anton Zverev; Written by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Edited by Sujata Rao and Angus MacSwan

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