The main critic of President Vladimir Putin accuses the Kremlin of trying to scare him not to return to Russia.
A Russian judge has been asked to jail Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny in absentia for, among other offenses, violating the terms of a suspended sentence he was serving, court documents showed Tuesday.
Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s main critics, was flown to Germany for treatment there in August last year after collapsing on a plane in which Germany and other countries Westerners say it was an attempt to murder him with a Novichok nerve agent.
Last month, the Federal Prison Service (FSIN) ordered him to return immediately from Germany, where he is recovering, and report to a Moscow office or be jailed if he does not return in time. .
He accused him of flouting a suspended sentence he was serving for a conviction dating from 2014 and of having escaped the supervision of the Russian penal inspection authority.
Navalny said the initial conviction was politically motivated.
On Tuesday, a court database showed authorities had asked for the suspended sentence to be overturned, raising the prospect of a custodial sentence.
“Putin is so furious that I survived his poisoning that he ordered the FSIN to go to court and demand that my conditional sentence be changed to a real one,” Navalny tweeted.
His spokesperson Kira Yarmysh accused Russian authorities of trying to scare Navalny into not returning to Russia, which he said he intended to do before parliamentary elections slated for September 2021 .
Russia said it had seen no evidence that he was poisoned and denied attempting to harm him.
The Kremlin said Navalny was free to return to Russia at any time like any other Russian citizen.