Disinfo: Navalny’s arrest was in compliance with lawful procedures because he has a suspended sentence

Summary

Navalny’s lawyer was previously acquainted with the fact that Mr Navalny was added to the wanted list. It was further explained to him that based on a motion by the Criminal Executive Inspectorate sent to Simonov District Court, Mr Navalny’s suspended sentence could be cancelled and he would have to complete the sentence imposed by the court’s ruling.

Prior to his planned arrival on 17 January, the FSIN announced it was planning to arrest Mr Navalny because of this planned ruling, which was to be based on “malicious breach” of his suspended sentence – the blogger allegedly did so systematically and repeatedly and did not appear at compulsory registrations at least six times. Although he was further officially warned, he did not show up between August and December.

Navalny has currently two suspended sentences. One of these is connected to the Kirovles case and the other to the Yves Roche case. Furthermore, in December 2020, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation launched yet another criminal proceeding concerning alleged embezzlement of large amounts of money for various NGOs. The investigation is convinced Mr Navalny spent over 356 million rubles (4 million euro) for personal purposes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

Alexei Navalny was being treated at the Charité hospital in Berlin following his poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok, allegedly carried out by the Russian secret service FSB. He was in a coma until early September and then had to undergo intensive rehabilitation.

His arrest in Moscow was based on allegedly not obeying the rules of his suspended sentence, which international observers have criticised as unfounded. The EU has condemned the arrest of Alexei Navalny and called for his immediate release. Furthermore, Mr Navalny’s lawyers have maintained that his detention is illegal under Russian law.

Both the Kirovles case and the Yves Rocher case were examined by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In the Kirovles case, the ECHR ruled in 2016 that the trial was unfair and that Mr Navalny, along with his co-defendant Mr Ofitserov, were convicted of actions “indistinguishable from regular commercial activity,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty wrote. Although following this ruling, Russia ordered a retrial, it ended with the same result.

In the Yves Rocher case, Alexei Navalny, along with his brother Oleg who was also charged in this case, initiated an application against the Russian Federation with the ECHR in 2015. The ECHR refused to comment on whether the case was politically motivated (although several judges maintained it should have done so) but decided in 2017 that Russian courts violated Articles 6 and 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 6 discusses, among other things, the right to a “fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law,” and “[e]veryone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.” And further rights of those charged with criminal offences. Article 7 focuses on the interpretation of criminal law applied in a particular criminal offence. The ECHR ordered Russia to pay a combined total of nearly 76 000 euros and 460 000 rubles for the violations. However, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the verdict following this ruling – a suspended sentence for Alexei Navalny and over three years in prison for his brother Oleg.

This shows that the suspended sentences of Mr Navalny were based on cases the ECHR labelled as either unfair or in violation with particular articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

See more examples of disinformation about Alexey Navalny, claiming that the West needs him to destabilise Russia or that the US supports pro-Navalny protests in order to interfere in Russian politics.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 230
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Czech
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, Alexei Navalny
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