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Moscow court refuses to release Alexey Navalny from pre-trial detention

Source: Meduza

During an appeals hearing on Thursday, January 28, the Moscow Regional Court refused to release opposition figure Alexey Navalny from pre-trial detention.

In their appeal, Navalny’s defense pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the current legislation, underscoring that the court of first instance’s ruling to “prolong the period of detention” for Navalny to 30 days isn’t outlined in the Criminal Procedure Code (the code provides for “detention for a period of no more than 30 days”). 

“This is one big violation of the law, a demonstrative violation of the law. Did you read the trial transcript? If yes, then you should have laughed at the entire Moscow Regional Court,” said Navalny, who attended the hearing via a video link from Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison. 

The representative from the prosecutor’s office did not support Navalny’s appeal, calling it unfounded.

Alexey Navalny was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on January 17 upon his return to Russia from Germany, where spent five months recovering from chemical nerve agent poisoning. The next day, a Khimki court remanded him in custody until February 15 during an extraordinary hearing inside the police station where Navalny was being held. He was then sent to Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Navalny was detained at the request of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service on the grounds that he violated the terms of his probation in the Yves Rocher case while abroad. The prison authorities are now seeking to have his probation sentence revoked and incarcerate Navalny under a reinstated 3.5-year prison sentence. The case is set to go to court on Tuesday, February 2.

On January 23, protests opposing Navalny’s detention took place in hundreds of cities across Russia. The authorities responded by arresting protesters en masse — according to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info, more than 3,700 people were detained countrywide. The authorities have since launched a number of criminal cases against protesters.

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