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Russian court rejects complaint over law agency's handling of Navalny case

(Recasts with court’s rejection of complaint)

MOSCOW, Sept 4 (Reuters) - A Russian court said on Friday it had rejected a complaint filed by allies of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny accusing a top law enforcement body of inaction over what they said was his attempted murder.

Germany, where Navalny is being treated in hospital, has said he was poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent and has called for the perpetrators to be held to account. But Russia has until now not opened a criminal investigation and said there is no evidence yet of a crime.

One of Navalny’s allies accused the Investigative Committee, which handles probes into major crimes, of inaction following a statement they filed to it on Aug. 20 demanding a criminal investigation be opened into Navalny’s attempted murder.

The court said the Investigative Committee had passed on the statement by Navalny’s supporters to one of its regional branches in Siberia and asked for it to be reviewed.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokeswoman, said the court had said their statement had been treated as a “citizen’s appeal”, a legal nuance she said meant it could take up to 30 days for it be looked at.

“Anything so they don’t have to start an investigation,” she wrote on Twitter. (Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Maria Vasilyeva; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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