Moscow Court Delays Hearing Navalny’s ‘Flight-Risk’ Case

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny Navalny participated in the hearing by videolink from prison.  

MOSCOW — A Moscow district court has postponed until June 25 the hearing of a suit by imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny asking the court to rescind a decision by prison officials designating him as a "flight risk."

The Preobrazhensky District Court on June 22 granted a request by Navalny’s lawyers for additional time to study some case materials. Navalny participated in the hearing by videolink from prison in the Vladimir region.

Navalny is asking the court to invalidate the flight-risk designation imposed by officials at the Moscow remand prison where he was being held early this year during his trial on charges of violating the terms of his suspended sentence. In February, Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on the charges, which he says were trumped up to block his political activity.

Earlier, Navalny filed a similar suit against the Vladimir-region prison where he is serving his sentence, but that case was rejected.

Because of the flight-risk designation, guards must ascertain each hour during the night that Navalny is in his cell.

During the earlier trial, Navalny argued that the hourly checks "effectively amount to torture."

"I just want them to stop coming to me and waking me up at night," he told the court.

Navalny was arrested in Moscow on January 17 upon his return from Germany, where he underwent months of medical treatment to recover from an August nerve-agent poisoning that he and his supporters say was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

With reporting by TASS

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