Alexei Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader, was arrested at a Moscow airport last Sunday. Authorities has placed him in custody for 30 days for violating the conditions of his parole due to an embezzlement case back in 2014. He called on his supporters to flock the streets in protest after his arrest. Navalny attended legal proceedings on Monday afternoon in a makeshift courtroom where he was being detained, claiming he was not allowed to see his lawyers until before the hearing began. His followers are scheduled to have a nationwide protest on January 23. Navalny, known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was poisoned by a toxic nerve agent in August last year, allegedly masterminded by high officials within Putin’s circle, to which they deny the claims.
NPR.Org: Russian authorities had warned that Navalny would be arrested for violating the parole terms of a 2014 conviction in an embezzlement case
According to NPR.Org, a judge ruled to remand Navalny in custody for 30 days following his return from Germany, where he was recovering from an August poisoning that he blames on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian authorities had warned that Navalny would be arrested for violating the parole terms of a 2014 conviction in an embezzlement case, even though the European Court of Human Rights later ruled Russia had denied Navalny a fair trial.
A Moscow court will rule next month on whether Navalny’s suspended sentence of 3.5 years in the embezzlement case will be converted into a prison sentence, his lawyer Vadim Kobzev told the Mediazona website. Navalny’s probation ended on Dec. 30, 2020, when he was still in Germany.
Lavrov accused Western governments of using Navalny’s arrest to distract from problems in their own countries. Lavrov insisted that Russian officials were adhering to the law.