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Navalny’s Body Not in Morgue Where Authorities Said It Was, Aides Say

Alexei Navalny appearing at a court hearing via video link from prison. Yuri Kochetkov / EPA / TASS

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's body is not in the morgue where authorities said it was brought after his death, his team announced Saturday.

“Alexei's lawyer and his mother have arrived at the Salekhard morgue. It's closed, however, the colony has assured them it's working and Navalny's body is there,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on X, formerly Twitter.

“The lawyer called the phone number which was on the door. He was told he was the seventh caller today. Alexei's body is not in the morgue,” Yarmysh added.

She said another Navalny lawyer visited the Salekhard Investigative Committee and was told that “a repeat histological examination was taken” and that his cause of death is still unknown.

The results of the analysis “will supposedly be out next week,” she said.

“It is obvious that they are lying and doing everything not to give the body away.”

She later wrote that the Investigative Committee said Navalny's body will not be handed over to his family until the forensic examination is complete.

“Only an hour ago, the lawyers were informed that the investigation had been concluded and that something criminal had not been established. They literally lie every time, driving us around in circles and covering their tracks.”

Navalny ally Ivan Zhdanov said that Navalny's lawyer and mother were told that his cause of death was “sudden death syndrome” when they visited his prison colony earlier Saturday.

The Salekhard forensic medical examination bureau also does not have Navalny’s body, the Astra Telegram news channel reported.

“Our journalist who called the bureau was told that ‘they did not accept any bodies from the [prison] colonies’,” Astra said.

Yarmysh said earlier Saturday that Navalny's mother had been notified of his death and that the body was in Salekhard, a town near the Arctic prison where Navalny was held.

Team Navalny has demanded that his body be handed over to his family “immediately.”

Navalny, 47, was serving a 19-year prison sentence in the Arctic when authorities announced his death in opaque circumstances.

He was jailed in January 2021 upon returning to Russia from Germany, where he was recovering from a near-fatal poisoning with what Western scientists said was the banned military-grade nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny’s nationwide political and activist organizations were outlawed as “extremist” later that year, forcing his supporters and aides to flee the country to escape prosecution.

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