Monday, April 15, 2024

Alexei Navalny’s body ‘driven away in midnight motorcade from prison’ | World News

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Footage has shown a midnight motorcade potentially carrying the body of Aleksei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s now-fallen foe, away from his Arctic jail.

Navalny, 47, was an anticorruption activist who became among the Kremlin’s most outspoken critics leading the political opposition against the Russian president.

He survived years of scuffles with the law and a near-fatal poisoning before dying on Friday of ‘sudden death syndrome’ in a penal colony, according to authorities.

In a document handed to Navlany’s mother by prison officials, Navalny died on Friday at about 2.20pm local time

Yet live video analysed by the Russian independent outlet Mediazona shows a convoy of four vehicles hurtling down the ice road linking the town of Labytnangi with Salekhard at midnight.

Among them, a UAZ minibus – believed to be carrying the corpse – as well as prison vehicles and two highway patrol police cars.

Navalny was serving a raft of prison sentences that his supporters say were fabricated to lock him up (Picture: AP)

The motorcade crossed the frozen left bank of the Ob River on the day Navlany was alleged to have died.

The stretch is the only route between IK-3, the prison Nalvany was being held at, and the Salekhard morgue.

One car is unmarked, thought to be a Federal Security Service (FSB) security service escort.

The footage was taken from a local internet provider’s website used for motorists to assess traffic and check for ferry queues and was the only time such a convoy made the journey in several days.

Navalny was serving multiple prison sentences totalling several decades for embezzlement, fraud and so-called ‘extremism’ after returning to Russia from Germany in 2021.

Navalny’s spokeswoman confirmed his body was taken to Salekhard, a regional hub close to the penal colony, and had yet to be released to his family.

The camera feed appears to show a Federal Penitentiary Service can suspected of reportedly rushing the body of Navalny from the jail to the regional capital of Salekhard (Picture: Mediazona/east2west news)

A source told Novaya Gaeta Europe, a news outlet that replaced the suspended opposition newspaper of the same name, that Navalny’s ‘bruised’ body was taken to the Salekhard district clinical hospital morgue Friday evening.

The story, published yesterday, said as of Saturday no autopsy has been conducted.

A Salekhard paramedic added that Navalny’s injuries, which included a bruise on his chest, were consistent with a seizure or outside restraint during convulsions.

Such bruising may have been down to chest compressions during CPR.

‘That is, they did try to resuscitate him, and he probably died from cardiac arrest,’ they said.

Labytnang City Hospital said ambulance crews arrived at the prison within seven minutes and provided CPR on Navalny for half an hour.

An inmate from the IK-3 prison told Novaya Gazeta Europe that his fellow jailbirds were aware of him about four hours before his official time of death.

Navlany’s family and supporters have accused Moscow of killing Navalny.

‘Three and a half years ago Putin tried to kill Aleksei,’ Kira Yarmysh, his spokeswoman said on the day his death was announced, referring to the nerve agent poisoning in 2020.

‘Yesterday, he killed him.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.


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