Lyubov Sobol removed from courtroom during hearing over break-in at apartment of Navalny’s alleged poisoner
Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol was removed from the courtroom during a hearing of the case against her for criminally infringing on the inviolability of the home of Konstantin Kudryavtsev — one of the FSB operatives implicated in Alexey Navalny’s August 2020 poisoning.
During the hearing at Moscow’s Perovsky Court on Monday, April 5, Magistrate Inna Shilobodina gave Sobol repeated warnings because she was filming herself inside the courtroom and refused to turn off her camera. The court took several recesses and the prosecutor demanded that Sobol face administrative liability for ignoring the judge’s orders.
Sobol will be allowed to return to the courtroom during the argument stage of the hearing to deliver her final statement. Before leaving the courtroom, Sobol said that she was refusing the services of her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin.
Criminal charges were brought against Lyubov Sobol (who works for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation) after she went to the home of FSB agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev and tried to talk to him. The incident took place on December 21 — the same day Navalny released a video of an alleged conversation with Kudryavtsev, in which the FSB operative detailed the Kremlin’s attempt to poison Navalny with a chemical nerve agent in August 2020. Sobol now faces up to 200,000 rubles in fines (about $2,620), correctional or compulsory labor, or up to two years in prison.
According to state investigators, Sobol “illegally used the uniform of Rospotrebnadzor officials,” entered the apartment of an elderly woman, walked around the premises “filming her illegal actions on a phone,” and then disappeared from the scene. The case was launched at the request of Galina Subbotina — Konstantin Kudryavtsev’s mother-in-law, who lives in the same building.
According to Navalny’s associates, Sobol did not enter the apartment, but only rang the doorbell. However, during a live stream broadcast on December 21, Sobol said herself that she “managed to get into the neighboring apartment with a pizza delivery man.” Kudryavtsev’s family owns two neighboring apartments in a building on Suzdalskaya Street in Moscow.