Russia — What is the Future for Detained Navalny?

  • Navalny was detained at the customs check point.
  • Navalny can be held up to 48 hours.
  • Alexey Navalny has a court hearing scheduled for the January 29, 2021.
Alexey Navalny returned to Russia on January 17, 2021. The flight was symbolic from the low cost airline Pobeda (Victory). The plane was delayed due to the unruly passenger on board (not Navalny or his entourage). Majority of the flight seats were occupied by the journalists.

Alexey Navalny the Russian opposition and corruption fighter.

Navalny got the special treatment by the German authorities and was able to bypass the customs control.He was driven by the government  vehicle on the runaway and boarded the plane last.

Navalny also had his wife and lawyer on the flight seated at the symbolic row 13. The flight was supposed to land in the Domodedovo airport.
His supporters began gathering at the airport earlier in the day. However, without having a booked flight, the people had to wait outside in the frigid Moscow temperatures.
However, it was careless for Navalny to announce on the social media his return followed by the statement to greet him. Majority of the world, including Russia is in the midst of the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. Hence, large gatherings are always a risk and also can disrupt the airport operations.
This is exactly what happened and the plane with Navalny on board was diverted to the Sheremetevo, while Domodedovo airport was shut down for the safety reasons. The shut down inconvenienced other passengers on board.
Upon arrival Navalny did apologize to the other passengers for the inconvenience. Ironically, he blamed the Kremlin and the flight was diverted due to the Putin fear. He failed to acknowledge that his social media post created disruption and the higher risk to contract Coronavirus.
The full details of the Navalny arrival  and analysis available here.
Furthermore, upon landing in Sheremetevo, Navalny gave a short interview from the airport terminal. However, he is been detained near the customers control.
The Russian correctional services issued a  warrant for his arrest on the December 29th, due to failure to report for the mandatory probation check in. Navalny was under probation already,  when he was poisoned in August 2020.
He supposedly recovered in the beginning of December and did not address his legal obligations. It is plausible, the detainment at the airport is politically motivated.
Navalny and his lawyer did not believe there were grounds for his detainment at the airport. His attorney kept siting Article  7 of the Treaty on European Union.
Article 7 
The procedure is covered by TEU Article 7. It would be enacted where the EU identifies a member persistently breaching the EU’s founding values (respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities), as outlined in TEU Article 2.
Russia does not have to acknowledge  the article 7. The recent amendments to the Russian constitution, specifically include the clause pertaining not honoring any foreign laws or treaties, if it infringes on the interests of Russia. Hence, one wonders of the Navalny lawyer competency and knowledge of the recent changes. The original proposed changes.
Moreover, under the Russian laws, Navalny could be detained for the 48 hours for questioning.
These Are The 4 Scenarios Possible:  
  1. Navalny can be released by Tuesday January 19 and appear on the scheduled court date on the January 29th. (the docket for that date has irregularities).
  2.  He will be detained until the court haring on th January 29th, due to possibly being flight risk. Even though it would not be accurate, since Navlany returned to Russia.
  3. Navalny could be charged with additional charges pertaining the new criminal investigation pertaining the alleged personal use of the donated funds for the corruption fight purposes.
  4.  Navalny would be rushed through the court in the next 2 days and ordered to serve his 3.5 years sentence in prison and his probation will be revoked.
Lubov Sobol is a Russian lawyer and Navalny Live host.

Overall, it is clear, Navalny will have a lot of legal troubles this year.  One question to consider:  If Navalny serves any time in prison, would he be ineligible to have a political career in Russia? He would not be the first one to end up with such scenario.

Navalny two affiliates are also awaiting their court dates.  Lubov Sobol, who is Navalny live host. Duma, a candidate, charged with a misdemeanor due to an attempt to gain entry into private property.
The Navalny cameraman of the Navalny live is under arrest, due to his tweet made last week. The tweet entailed the suggestion to kill  the high ranking Kremlin officials. The verbatim can be challenged, but even in Russian, it does sound like a call for others to engage in the extremist activities.
In conclusion, the Navalny show will continue to gain notoriety this year. At the same time, there is a new individual with a very interesting platform to watch and an eloquent speaker, who seems to be an up and comer and actually garnished my interest in his platform.
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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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