Criminal case on Navalny incident cannot be opened in Russia so far, says Putin
The president stated that Russian specialists should be let join the investigation into the incident with Russian opposition blogger Alexey NavalnyMembers of staff seen outside the emergency department of the Charite hospital where Alexei Navalny was treated in Berlin© Vyacheslav Filippov/TASS
MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. It is impossible to open a criminal case on the incident with opposition blogger Alexey Navalny right now, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“No, it is impossible,” he said at a meeting with the members of the Human Rights Council. “We cannot open criminal cases each time when a person escapes death.” He added that the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Russian Investigative Committee continued a check into the circumstances of the incident at his request.
The president stated that Russian specialists should be let join the joint investigation into the incident with Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny. “By and large, our specialists should be involved and I have already told that and asked to do that, to let our specialists join the joint work [to investigate the circumstances of the incident],” he said, as follows from the transcript posted on the Kremlin website. “Our specialists are ready to go abroad – both to France, to Germany and to the Netherlands, to meet with those who claim that warfare toxic agents were found there. But no one invites us.”
When asked about the “notorious poisoning incident,” Putin noted that Russia could not conduct its own investigation because all the related materials were currently in the West but assured that a check was being conducted. “The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has asked its colleagues more than once to send at least a written official document on the investigation findings,” the president recalled, adding that Russia had invited foreign specialists to conduct a joint probe but “they are not coming here.”
“They don’t share official materials. They don’t share biological materials,” he said. “What can we do then?”
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.
On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Berlin claimed this conclusion had been confirmed by laboratories in France and Sweden.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said more than once that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.