Russia: Not enough evidence for Germany’s Navalny poisoning claim

Moscow -A senior Russian Health official said on Tuesday that Germany did not appear to have enough evidence to claim that Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny, had been poisoned.

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Berlin’s Charite hospital, which has been treating Navalny in a near-fatal coma since he was evacuated from a Siberian hospital, claims Navalny was poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor.

The poison prevents the normal breakdown of his neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The Head of Moscow’s Bureau of Forensic Medicine, Sergei Shigeyev, said it was premature to come to that conclusion without identifying a specific poison.

“Cholinesterase activity varies significantly among different people, particularly due to certain chronic diseases.

“Currently, we can only talk about the fact that the patient was found to have a decrease in cholinesterase activity.

“That is what the conclusion about poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor is based upon.

“That conclusion is premature,’’ Shigeyev said.

Navalny, 44, has been one of the fiercest domestic opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin during the past decade, having organised several series of protests against the long-time Russian leader, whom he accused of perpetrating widespread corruption.

Navalny became ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk en-route to his home city, Moscow and the airliner made an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk for Navalny to be hospitalised.

Navalny had been in Tomsk to support opposition candidates in local elections.

His spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, ha said it appeared that Navalny was poisoned with tea he drank at the Tomsk airport.

The Omsk hospital concluded that Navalny probably fell into the coma because of low blood sugar levels.

However, Russia has not opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

Earlier, the EU called for an independent and transparent investigation on the poisoning of Mr Navalny without delay.

The EU, however, strongly condemned what it described as an attempt on Mr Navalny’s life.

According to the EU, Russians and the international community were demanding the facts behind his poisoning.

It added that those responsible must be held accountable.


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