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Russian prosecutors say no indication of crime against Navalny, no criminal probe needed

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivers a speech during a rally to demand the release of jailed protesters, who were detained during opposition demonstrations for fair elections, in Moscow, Russia September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Prosecutor General’s office said on Thursday there was no indication a crime had been committed against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is in a medically-induced coma in a Berlin hospital after what allies say was a poisoning.

The office added it saw no basis to open a criminal investigation following Navalny’s hospitalization in Russia last week.

Navalny, 44, was airlifted to Germany on Saturday after collapsing during a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow.

The German hospital treating him said its initial medical examination pointed to poisoning, though Russian doctors who had treated Navalny in a Siberian hospital have contradicted that diagnosis.

German authorities have agreed to cooperate with Russia on the case, the Prosecutor General’s office added in a statement.

Reporting by Anton Zverev and Polina Ivanova; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Sujata Rao