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Russian Court Blocks Probe Into Kara-Murza Poisonings

Vladimir Kara-Murza. Mosgorsud press service / Moskva News Agency

A Moscow court ruled Tuesday that investigators acted lawfully when they refused to look into two alleged murder attempts against the jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Kara-Murza, 42, fell severely ill in 2015 and 2017 with symptoms that he said indicated he was poisoned, but Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, did not open an inquiry after the allegations.

An investigation led by journalists from Bellingcat in 2021 suggested that agents from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in both cases.

"The investigators, having received this information, did nothing," Kara-Murza told the court via video link from Siberia, where he is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for treason and other charges.

"As a result of the poisonings, I ended up in intensive care with a five percent chance of survival," he said.

Fears for the prominent dissident's health have grown since the opposition activist Alexei Navalny died in prison under unclear circumstances in February.

Kara-Murza, a citizen of both Russia and Britain, suffers from serious health problems that his wife Evgenia and lawyers say are directly related to the alleged poisoning attempts.

He was imprisoned in April 2023 after criticizing Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and pressing Western countries to impose sanctions against the Kremlin.

Russia's top court upheld the 25-year sentence against him last week, throwing out an appeal from his lawyers, who called his jailing unlawful.

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