Alexei Navalny has “frozen and seized bank accounts”

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image copyrightReuters

legendAlexei Navalny and his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, were pictured in hospital in Berlin

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has seen his bank accounts frozen and seized following a court ruling, his spokesperson said.

A day earlier, he had been released from a hospital where he was being treated for poisoning from Novichok nerve agents.

“They seized the property and the apartment of a person who was in a coma,” said Kira Yarmysh.

His team accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering the poisoning, which the Kremlin firmly denies.

The main opposition figure and vocal critic of Mr Putin collapsed in a flight to Siberia on August 20, and was then transferred to Charité Hospital in the German capital Berlin for treatment.

The German government said laboratories in France and Sweden had reconfirmed German tests showing that the poison used on Mr Navalny was a Novichok agent, and many governments have demanded an explanation. The Kremlin, however, said there was no evidence of this.

After Mr. Navalny’s release on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was “free” to return to Moscow “at any time” and wished him “a speedy recovery”.

Why was his property seized?

Ms Yarmysh said officials seized the opposition activist’s property on August 27, including his three-bedroom apartment in the southeast of the Russian capital, Moscow.

“This means that the apartment cannot be sold, given away or mortgaged,” Ms Yarmysh said in a video posted on Twitter.
image copyrightGetty Images
legendKira Yarmysh pictured outside Omsk hospital where Mr Navalny was first taken after falling seriously ill

The move comes after a lawsuit has been filed by catering company Moscow Schoolchild, owned by wealthy Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed “Putin’s boss.”

Mr Navalny, his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and an associate made a video questioning the quality of their products after a food poisoning outbreak in Moscow schools in 2018.

But in October 2019, a court ordered them to remove the video and pay 88million rubles ($ 1.1million; £ 900,000) in libel damages, claiming they had caused moral injury to the ‘company.

On Wednesday Mr Prigozhin released a statement saying that if Mr Navalny “goes to meet his creator, I personally have no intention of pursuing him in this world”.

Escaped to death but still pursued by Russian courts

Analysis by Oleg Boldyrev, BBC Russian, Moscow

Alexei Navalny narrowly escaped death from poisoning in Novichok just over a month ago, but in Russia it’s business as usual – the courts are still after him.

Last year, he published an investigation into the food supply to Moscow schools, alleging security breaches.

The investigation pointed to companies linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a shadowy businessman with interests in many fields: from catering for banquets in the Kremlin, to supplying food for the military and schools. secondary, and – as is widely suspected but denied by Russia. authorities – to the management of private military companies that protect Russian interests in Syria, Libya and some African countries.

Mr. Prigozhin sued Mr. Navalny for libel and was awarded compensation in excess of $ 1 million. An ordinary apartment in the southern suburbs of Moscow owned by Mr. Navalny is not worth anything close.

The Anti-Corruption Foundation set up by the opposition politician says it will have to restructure, but will continue to investigate corrupt Russian politicians despite the financial blow.

What’s the latest on Mr. Navalny?

Mr Navalny was released from hospital after 32 days, including 24 days in intensive care.

“Based on the patient’s progress and current condition, treating physicians believe a full recovery is possible,” a hospital statement said. “However, it is still too early to assess the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning. “

media legendLaura Foster explains how the nerve agent Novichok works

After emerging from his medically induced coma, Mr Navalny’s team announced that he was planning to return to Russia. Ms Yarmysh said “no other option has ever been considered”.

However, she said on Wednesday that he would remain in Germany for the time being “because his treatment is not finished”.

Mr Navalny posted a photo of himself online standing unaided, with a message saying doctors have given him every chance of a full recovery.

Shortly after his release, Mr Navalny described his rehab program in a post on Instagram.

“Further recovery does not require hospital care, but a normal life,” he writes. “Walking, spending time with my family. Immerse myself in a daily routine.

“My plans are simple: [go to] physiotherapist every day, “he says.” Maybe a rehabilitation center. Stand on one leg. Take back complete control of my fingers. Maintain my balance. ”

  • Alexei Navalny

  • Russia
  • Moscow



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