Russian prosecutors: Navalny not victim of crime
Russian prosecutors said on Thursday they saw no need for a criminal investigation into the sudden illness of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who his supporters suspect was poisoned, and they had found no sign that any crime had been committed.
Joe Davies reports.
Russian prosecutors said on Thursday (August 27) there was no need for a criminal investigation into the sudden illness of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
His allies believe he was poisoned.
But prosecutors said there was no sign that any crime had been committed against him.
The Interior Ministry said it had launched a preliminary probe, but that this was routine.
Navalny, who's 44, is in a medically induced coma in a Berlin hospital.
He was airlifted there on Saturday (August 22) after collapsing during a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk.
The German clinic treating him said its initial medical examination pointed to poisoning.
But Russian doctors who treated Navalny in a Siberian hospital have contradicted that diagnosis.
According to Russian prosecutors on Thursday (August 27), German authorities have agreed to cooperate on the case.
The transportation unit of the Siberian branch of the Interior Ministry said it has inspected the hotel room where Navalny was staying in Tomsk and the routes he'd taken in the city.
It said it has also analyzed video surveillance footage from the area.
It added that it didn't find any drugs or other potent substances.
Navalny has been a thorn in the Kremlin's side for more than a decade, exposing what he says is high-level graft and mobilizing crowds of young protesters.
The Kremlin said this week it wanted the circumstances surrounding Navalny's condition to come to light - and that it hoped the incident wouldn't hurt its relations with the West.