Aleksei Navalny, the Kremlin critic who is recovering in Germany from poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent, has demanded Russian investigators return his clothing, calling it key evidence in his case.
Navalny said in a post on his website on September 21 that the 30-day deadline for police to conduct their preliminary investigation into what he called an attempted murder by poisoning had expired and that he was now entitled to get his items back.
The 44-year-old became seriously ill aboard a Moscow-bound flight on August 20 originating in the Siberian city of Tomsk, where he was carrying out his latest investigation into state corruption.
The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk so that Navalny could be rushed to the hospital.
The opposition activist was airlifted two days later to Germany, where doctors confirmed he had been poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. The German doctors said Novichok was found both inside his body and on his skin. "Before they allowed me to be taken to Germany, all my clothes were taken off and I was sent completely naked. Given the fact that Novichok was found on my body and that I was very likely infected via contact, my clothes are a very important piece of evidence," Navalny said in a post. Russian police must either launch an investigation or close a case within 30 days of a preliminary investigation.
However, police in Omsk said they were continuing their investigation and had interviewed about 200 people.