The Russian judiciary is making an urgent trial of Alexei Navalny, who has returned to Moscow, directly in a police station. After returning from Berlin to Moscow, the 44-year-old had been missing a trace since Sunday. On Monday he suddenly found himself in a police building outside a court.
Jurists criticized this as unprecedented – even by Russian standards. In a video on Twitter, Navalny complained that the judiciary in Russia had reached a new level of “lawlessness”. “I have often seen how the rule of law is ridiculed, but this grandpa in his bunker is now so afraid (…) that the code of criminal procedure is simply torn up and thrown on the dump,” Navalny said in the improvised Courtroom. By “grandpa in his bunker” Navalny means the Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s impossible what happens here.” It is the “peak of lawlessness”.
Nawalny’s lawyers had apparently received a letter informing them that a trial was to begin in the police building, which then opened without anyone having been able to prepare. Previously, Nawalny’s lawyers and employees had stated that there was no trace of the opposition.
Navalny returned to Russia on Sunday after spending five months in Germany, where he was recovering from an attack with the neurotoxin Novitschok. He was arrested on his arrival in Moscow. The judiciary had put him out to be wanted. The Kremlin critic is said to have violated probation conditions in previous criminal proceedings during his stay in Germany.
Specifically, the prison system accuses him of having violated the reporting requirements. The authorities want to convert the suspended sentence into real detention. Navalny criticizes the action against him as politically motivated.