Prison agency source: Navalny’s body likely to be sent to Moscow for autopsy

The body of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny is likely to be sent to Moscow for an autopsy, a source in Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) told Novaya Gazeta Europe on Friday.

The source said that it may take several weeks before the cause of Alexey Navalny’s death is established.

"The central department is now deciding where the autopsy will take place to establish the causes of Alexey Navalny’s death.”

Though the morgue in Kharp, the nearest town to the penal colony where Navalny died, has the necessary equipment, the source said, it was “outdated” and Navalny’s family were therefore likely to insist on a thorough examination by toxicologists for possible poisoning.

A Novaya Europe source in Penal Enforcement Centre 3, where Navalny was serving his sentence before his sudden death, said that conducting an autopsy in the cities of Kharp or Salekhard might suggest that the FSIN has something to hide.

"The morgue here is small, there is no refrigerator, and therefore the body cannot be stored for a long time. Most likely, it will be taken to Salekhard, where there is a crematorium.”

The Kremlin would be keen to establish the true cause of Navalny’s death to undermine accusations that it had been ordered by the authorities, the source said, adding that the body would most likely be sent to Moscow.

Anna Karetnikova, who previously worked as an investigator for the FSIN in Moscow, noted that the official cause of Navalny’s death — a blood clot — was typically used by prison doctors in a “figurative, extended sense”.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.