Home Europe Poland: Court Bars Extradition Of Navalny Aide Attacker To Lithuania

Poland: Court Bars Extradition Of Navalny Aide Attacker To Lithuania


A court in Poland ruled on Friday that one of the two men suspected of attacking an exiled top aide to late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (pictured above) cannot be extradited to Lithuania.

The former aide, Leonid Volkov, suffered injuries from hammer blows in the attack on March 12 outside his home in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. He himself blamed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for the attack, saying that leaders of Navalny’s movement who are in exile, feared for their lives.

The authorities in Vilnius say the attack on Volkov was the work of Russia’s special services.

Authorities in Poland arrested two men in April in response to a European arrest warrant issued by Lithuania and agreed to hand them over for a criminal prosecution.

An appeals court in Poland said on Friday that one of the men could not be sent to Lithuania as there were similar proceedings being conducted by Polish prosecutors. The court’s decision regarding the other man is still pending.

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The two suspects, detained in the Polish capital Warsaw on April 3, are Polish citizens. They had been charged in Lithuania with intentionally causing minor bodily harm to Volkov because of his beliefs, which is punishable by a fine or a jail term.

Volkov, while blaming the Russian president for the attack on him, thanked the Lithuanian police for working “energetically and and persistently” over the past month on this case.

“I am very glad this work has been effective. We’ll find out the details soon. Can’t wait to find out,” he posted on the social media platform X (formerly twitter).

Navalny died in February in a Russian Arctic prison. Russian authorities say he died of natural causes. His followers believe he was killed by the authorities, which the Kremlin denies.  Navalny was among the most prominent of Russian dissidents.