Navalny ally released from detention in Russia

Navalny ally released from detention in Russia
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An ally of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny who was detained in Russia last week over trespassing accusations was released from detention on Sunday.

Lyubov Sobol, a leader in Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, told reporters that she was charged with trespassing after ringing the doorbell of an alleged Russian security operative’s apartment, The Associated Press reported

Navalny said he tricked that alleged operative into revealing information about the opposition leader’s poisoning earlier this year. Navalny identified the operative as Konstantin Kudryavtsev on Monday.

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Russian authorities had launched a criminal investigation on Friday, alleging that Sobol violently trespassed on the property. She and her allies denied the accusation and say the case against her is “revenge” on Navalny. A violent trespassing charge could lead to an up to two-year sentencing, according to the AP.

Navalny posted that Sobol was detained for 48 hours on Friday following a day of interrogation and tweeted video and a photo that showed police raiding her home. 

Earlier last week, Navalny released a recording of a phone call that he said he made to Kudryavtsev, while acting like he was an official from Russia’s national security council. 

The opposition leader said Kudryavtsev, an alleged member of the Federal Security Service (FSB), admitted that a nerve agent was put in Navalny’s underwear ahead of his poisoning in August.

Navalny ended up hospitalized in Germany over the summer after falling ill and going into a coma while on a flight in Russia. German, French and Swedish labs and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded Navalny experienced exposure to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. 

Russian officials have repeatedly denied being involved in the poisoning and the FSB rejects Navalny’s account. But the State Department has also attributed the poisoning incident to the FSB.