Putin Says Russia Could Have Killed Navalny Had It Wanted To
Experts – on the background of the Federal Penitentiary Service’s claim against the Russian oppositionist
The claim of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) to replace Alexei Navalny’s suspended sentence with a real one is due to the desire of the Russian authorities at all costs to prevent the return of the opposition politician to his homeland.
Both the majority of independent observers and experts interviewed by the Russian service of the Voice of America are inclined to this conclusion, who also note that the probationary period appointed for Navalny back in 2014 in the Yves Rocher case expired on December 30 last year.
Recall that the oppositionist was sentenced for alleged fraud to 3.5 years of suspended imprisonment, assigning him a probationary period of five years, and later increasing this period by another year..
Navalny is convinced that the case against him was fabricated, and the verdict was politically motivated.
The ECHR ruled that the rights of the oppositionist were violated during the trial, awarding him compensation, but the verdict remained in force.
“Putin is so enraged that I survived his poisoning that he ordered the FSIN to go to court and demand that my suspended sentence be changed to a real one,” commented Alexei Navalny on Twitter..
Earlier, the opposition politician has repeatedly stated that he will certainly return to Russia as soon as his health condition allows..
The term for the consideration of the claim of the FSIN has not yet been assigned.
Leonid Gozman: “Navalny will definitely return home”
Russian politician Leonid Gozman found it difficult to say according to what scenario the story will develop with the filing of the FSIN petition. In his opinion, the actions of the department “completely contradict” common sense, the spirit and letter of law, but it does not follow from this that the claim will not be given a course.
“In Russia, the law is purely selective, so nothing can be predicted here,” he added in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America. – It is clear that the authorities are in a panic, they are afraid of Navalny’s triumphant return and are ready to do anything out of fear. So everything can be here “.
If Navalny remains an emigrant, then, of course, he will lose some of his influence on events in Russia, Leonid Gozman said. According to him, the revolution cannot be controlled from the outside..
“Therefore, if the authorities were able to lock the opposition leader abroad, it would seem that the Kremlin could celebrate the victory,” he says. – But this will not give them anything, because someone else will appear who will quickly gain points and political weight. The thing is that there is a demand in society for leaders like Navalny. A holy place is never empty. Perhaps Navalny will be replaced by one of his closest associates, perhaps it will be a completely new person, unknown to a wide audience … “
At the same time, the politician assumes that Navalny will definitely return to his homeland. “He will do it, even knowing that in Russia he is guaranteed a prison, that he will be arrested right on the plane. As I see it, in this decision he can be inspired by the examples of people who, from prison, became presidents, leaders of the nation. In particular, Nelson Mandela “, – summed up Leonid Gozman.
Mark Feigin: “The political component prevails in the Alexey Navalny case”
Public figure, lawyer Mark Feigin agrees that the political component prevails in the case of Alexei Navalny. According to him, from a legal point of view, everything looks quite obvious..
“Navalny’s suspended sentence ended on December 30, to this we must add that the case was contested at the ECHR, which made a decision in favor of the oppositionist,” the Voice of America interlocutor recalled. “I don’t know the whole case, but I believe that in connection with the verdict of the ECHR, the decision of the Russian court, which sentenced the oppositionist to a suspended sentence, should be revised”.
All recent actions against Navalny are being taken solely to prevent his return to Russia, Mark Feigin is sure. “The authorities do not achieve this by washing, but by skating, apparently, performing the installation from the very top,” he says. – All means are good here. Therefore, I think the court will decide to replace the suspended sentence with a real one. And this decision will be politically motivated “.
Consequently, if Navalny returns home, he will very soon be sent to a colony by escort, the lawyer stated. It seems to him that for a person poisoned by Novichok, with undermined health, this means a death sentence.
At the same time, Mark Feigin noted that it is not known how events will develop if Alexei Navalny is forced to stay abroad: “Historically, we understand that a person who is in political emigration always loses influence on the processes in his country. Although, in principle, this allows him to more freely establish international contacts and expand them. And in general, freedom is better than lack of freedom. The world has changed. Now you can be even on Mars, but if you have the Internet, and you can release your investigations, it is still a big question – are your opportunities and influence decreasing or expanding. “.
In addition, if sanctions continue to be imposed against the Kremlin, including from the United States, then Navalny’s role may just increase greatly, because he can become a kind of catalyst for this process, concluded Mark Feigin.
PS: While the material was being prepared, Alexey Navalny said that he had bought an air ticket to Moscow for January 17.