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Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny ordered to remain in custody for a month, less than 24 hours after his return to Russia

KIFI

Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny was ordered to remain in custody for 30 days during a makeshift hearing in Russia on Monday, less than 24 hours after he returned to the country and five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.

The opposition leader flew back to Moscow from Germany on Sunday, and was immediately detained by masked officers. He was held overnight a police station in the city of Khimki, just north of central Moscow.

Navalny was placed on the country’s federal wanted list last month for violating terms of probation related to a 2014 conviction for fraud, which he dismisses as politically motivated.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has requested that a court replace his suspended sentence with a prison term. If the request is granted, Navalny will likely be jailed for 3.5 years.

Governments around the world have criticized Russia over Navalny’s arrest. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have all called for his immediate release.

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