German Gov't Cannot Launch Probe Into Navalny Case Over Foreign Jurisdiction - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd September, 2020) Germany is legally limited in its ability to launch an investigation into the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny as the incident took place in a foreign jurisdiction, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

According to the report, the German Federal government had inquired whether the Navalny case could be investigated in Germany with the office of the Public Prosecutor General in Karlsruhe and was given a negative response. This reportedly happened before German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the results of Navalny's probes.

The newspaper referenced the 2018 poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK town of Salisbury to point out its "substantial difference" from the Navalny case which, as German authorities allege, took place while he was in Russia.

As argued in the report, the German law authorities could launch an investigation if Navalny's condition deteriorated while he was undergoing treatment in the Berlin-based Charite clinic, and in that case, the Berlin Prosecutor's Office would have been the responsible authority rather than the Public Prosecutor General in Karlsruhe.

This is consistent with what Professor Martin Heger of the Humboldt University in Berlin told Sputnik, namely that the German authorities currently lack any legal grounds to investigate the Navalny case and that it would have been different if he suffered a serious deterioration or died while being treated in Germany.

Navalny fell ill during a domestic flight in Russia on August 20. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane had to urgently land. Two days later, once the doctors established he was fit for cross-border aerial transportation, the 44-year-old was flown to Charite for further treatment.

It was not until September 2 that the German government claimed Navalny's samples contained traces of a Novichok group substance. According to Berlin, these conclusion was confirmed by labs in France and Sweden. Tests in Russia did not show traces of poison. Moscow demands that Germany provide evidence.