© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a rally in Moscow
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian judge has been asked to detain Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in absentia for allegedly violating the terms of a suspended sentence he was serving and other violations, court documents revealed Tuesday .
Navalny, a leading critic of President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany for treatment in August after collapsing on a plane. Germany and other western nations said it was an attempt to murder him with a novichok nerve agent.
The Russian Federal Prison Service (FSIN) ordered him to fly back immediately from Germany, where he is recovering, and report to a Moscow office or be detained if he does not return in time.
It accused him of disregarding a suspended sentence served on a 2014 conviction and of evading the supervision of the Russian Criminal Inspection Agency. Navalny said the original belief was politically motivated.
On Tuesday, a court database showed that authorities had requested the suspended sentence be lifted, which increased the prospect of a prison sentence instead.
"Putin is so angry that I survived his poisoning that he ordered the FSIN to go to court and demand that my suspended sentence be converted to a real one," Navalny tweeted.
His spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh accused the Russian authorities of persuading Navalny not to return to Russia, which he intends to do before the parliamentary elections coming up next September.
Russia has said it saw no evidence that he was poisoned and it has denied causing him harm. The Kremlin has said that like any other Russian citizen, Navalny can return to Russia at any time.
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