Opposition figure Alexey Navalny detained at passport control after a flight back to Russia from Germany.
Russian police arrested Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny at passport control after his flight back to Russia, his lawyer, the prison service and Reuters witnesses said.
It was the first time Navalny had returned home since he was poisoned last summer. His plane was diverted Sunday to another Moscow airport at the last minute in an apparent effort by authorities to thwart reporters and supporters who greet him.
Navalny was arrested when he showed his passport to border guards before officially entering Russia, Reuters witnesses said. His wife, Yulia, his spokesperson and his lawyer were allowed to enter Russia.
The Prison Service said he was being held on multiple parole violations and suspended prison terms and would be held until a court ruled on his case.
But the prison service of the Russian capital had said in advance that it would do anything to arrest him on his return, accusing him of flouting the conditions of a suspended prison sentence for embezzlement, a case of 2014 which, according to him, was forged from nothing.
Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh confirmed he was arrested, saying on Twitter: “Alexei was taken by police to the border. Without any explanation. “
His plane was supposed to arrive at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow, but was diverted to land at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow instead. The flight was operated by Russian airline Pobeda, owned by state-controlled Aeroflot.
Navalny was flown to Berlin in August last year for emergency medical treatment after being poisoned with what German tests showed to be a Novichok nerve agent.