MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has agreed to hear a libel lawsuit filed by Aleksei Navalny against Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov over comments he made linking U.S. spies with the jailed opposition politician.
Open Media group quoted a representative of the Presnensky district court on May 5 as saying that Navalny, who is serving a prison term in a penal colony, will be able to take part in the hearing if he wishes and if the judge agrees with that.
The date of the hearing into the lawsuit filed by Navalny in late March is yet to be determined.
It is the second lawsuit Navalny has filed against Peskov in defense of his "honor, dignity, and business reputation."
An initial lawsuit was filed in November 2020 when Navalny demanded the Kremlin publish on its official website his rebuttal of public statements Peskov made saying that CIA specialists are "working with Navalny" and that the contents of Navalny's statements, including those criticizing President Vladimir Putin, are prepared by the U.S. secret service.
The court refused to register the lawsuit at the time, citing "procedural shortcomings." It was then refiled.
Navalny was arrested in January upon his return to Russia from Germany, where he received life-saving treatment for a poisoning attack in Siberia in August.
He blames the poisoning with a Soviet-style chemical nerve agent on Putin and Russia's security services. The Kremlin has denied any role in the poisoning.
In February, a Moscow court ruled that while in Germany, Navalny had violated the terms of parole from an old embezzlement case that is widely considered to be politically motivated. He is currently serving a 2 1/2 year sentence at a prison in the Vladimir region.
Navalny's incarceration sparked numerous protests across Russia which were violently dispersed by police.