Navalny's Body Withheld for Chemical Analysis Amid Accusations Against Putin

Navalny's Body Withheld for Chemical Analysis Amid Accusations Against Putin

The family of Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who recently died in a Russian prison, has been informed that his body will not be released for two weeks. According to a representative for Navalny, his mother was told that the body was being held for "chemical analysis," with no confirmation from Russian authorities about its whereabouts.

Efforts to locate Navalny's body have been repeatedly thwarted, prompting his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, to accuse Russian authorities of hiding it. In a video message, she directly blamed President Putin for her husband's death, alleging that his body was being kept until traces of the nerve agent Novichok, which Navalny had previously been poisoned with, had disappeared.

Navalny's death was announced last Friday, with authorities at the Siberian penal colony where he was held stating that he never regained consciousness after collapsing following a walk. Despite his mother and lawyer traveling to the colony, attempts to locate the body have been unsuccessful.

The Kremlin has stated that an investigation into Navalny's death is ongoing, with no results thus far. Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, revealed that investigators informed Navalny's mother that the body would not be handed over for two weeks for chemical analysis.

Navalny, a prominent figure in Russian opposition for the past decade, was serving a 19-year sentence on widely viewed politically motivated charges. Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, have squarely blamed Putin for Navalny's death, with both the EU and the US considering new sanctions on Russia in response.

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has also indicated that Britain and the G7 nations are likely to impose fresh sanctions on individuals involved in Navalny's death. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has criticized Western politicians' comments on Navalny's death as "arrogant" and "unacceptable."

Meanwhile, Russian prison authorities have claimed that Navalny suffered from "sudden death syndrome," a statement that has been met with skepticism given the circumstances surrounding his demise.

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