A military court in the Russian capital Moscow has dismissed a complaint from opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The Kremlin critic had accused the authorities of doing nothing to uncover the truth about his poisoning in August.
According to many, including Navalny, the Russian security forces are behind the poisoning on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.
A spokesman for the Moscow garrison court confirmed the rejection of Navalny’s complaint to the French news agency AFP on Monday. President Putin’s foremost Russian critic is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in a penal camp, which he recently described as a “concentration camp”.
Navalny was not present at the hearing and declined to participate via video link. He has accused authorities of not opening an investigation into his poisoning.
On August 20 last year, the opposition leader suddenly fell ill onboard a flight from Siberia to Moscow. European laboratories subsequently identified the nerve poison Novichok as the culprit. That poison was developed by the military in the Soviet era.
After several days in a Russian hospital in a coma, Navalny was transferred to the Charité hospital in Berlin, where he stayed for several months to recover. On his return to Russia in January, Navalny was immediately arrested. He was then sentenced to two and a half years in prison in connection with a fraud case, a political trial, according to Navalny.
Russian police opened a “preliminary investigation” in August after Navalny was hospitalized with symptoms of poisoning. Police are said to have investigated places where Navalny had been before the flight and spoke to witnesses. The police have always maintained that there is no evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed.
In addition, Russian toxicological research has never concluded that Navalny has been poisoned. Russia has always brushed aside Western calls for an investigation.