Jailed dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza loses appeal to force Russian officials to investigate 'poisonings'

Jailed dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza has lost an appeal to force Russian authorities to investigate two alleged poisonings that left him with a nerve disorder.

The dual British-Russian national is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for treason.

Appearing in court in Moscow via a video link from a penal colony in Omsk, Siberia, the opposition activist looked gaunt and thin.

The 42-year-old was arrested in April 2022 after criticising Russia's war in Ukraine.

Since Aleksei Navalny's death, he is regarded by the West as Russia's most prominent political prisoner, with the UK among those to call for his release.

As well as launching numerous appeals against his detention, he has repeatedly tried to file a complaint against Russia's Investigative Committee for failing to investigate two occasions where he alleges he was poisoned.

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Kara-Murza claims he was the target of an FSB "death squad".

Two alleged assassination attempts

After their first alleged attempt to kill him in 2015, he nearly died of kidney failure - and, two years later, he was hospitalised and placed in a medically induced coma following a similar incident.

But in February a court rejected his complaint - a decision he described on Tuesday as "unjust and illegal".

"The appealed ruling contains outright, blatant and documented lies, and this alone is enough for it to be cancelled," the father-of-three said.

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During the proceedings, the judge's voice was frequently drowned out by traffic noise coming from an open window.

The video feed from Kara-Murza's prison cell also regularly froze at crucial moments during his testimony.

Around 20 people - journalists, family friends and supporters - were crammed into the public area at the back of the court, with more outside unable to find room.

As the hearing finished, some yelled words of encouragement to the former journalist, who gave a brief signal of defiance by holding up a clenched fist, before his video feed was abruptly cut off.

Kara-Murza's lawyer, Maria Eismont, told journalists gathered outside that they will launch a further appeal.

"We will use every opportunity," she said.

The Kremlin has previously denied any involvement in the illnesses and deaths of opposition figures.