Russian opponent Alexei Navalny was sentenced, on Tuesday, to nine years in prison in a penal camp under extremely harsh conditions. In addition, he has to pay a fine equivalent to 8,200 euros. Police detained Navalny’s lawyer briefly after the trial. Meanwhile, the opposition leader vowed to continue his fight against the Kremlin.
The lawyers had demanded acquittal. Prosecutors demanded a 13-year prison sentence against him. He was expressly sentenced to imprisonment with a strict regime. This would make it difficult to publish his opinion on the attack on Ukraine, for example. “Navalny committed fraud and theft of property of other people by an organized gang,” Judge Margarita Kotova said when reading the ruling.
Navalny has been accused in this case of stealing donations of millions of euros to his charitable organizations. Funds were raised for a foundation that fights corruption and defends the rights of citizens. But Navalny is said to have funneled the money into private spending and the presidential campaign.
Navalny was also found guilty of contempt of court in another case. Sehen was a judge in 2021 in a case relating to Navalny’s comments that would have been offensive to a veteran.
Russian police also arrested two of Navalny’s lawyers, according to a Reuters journalist who was present at the trial. Olga Mihailova and Vadim Kopsev were pushed into a police car near the criminal camp where their client is being held, Navalny’s team tweeted. Both lawyers conducted interviews after the verdict.
The critical Kremlink newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” published a video showing Michaglova being dragged away by two police officers under the eyes of the cameras. According to the Interfax news agency, he called a police officer to take her to “disrupt the work of the prison”. Interfax said the advisers were released soon after.
Putin is afraid of the truth
The 45-year-old opposition leader has been in prison for more than a year on controversial charges for nearly a decade and is accused of a growing number of crimes. The new trial took place in the penal colony east of Moscow, where he is now being held. Navalny says it is a political process and he has done nothing wrong.
Soon after his new conviction, Navalny vowed to continue his fight against the Kremlin. In addition, he said on Twitter that President Vladimir Putin “fears the truth.” Putin is afraid of the truth, I have always said it. The opposition leader said that fighting censorship and presenting the truth to the Russian people remains our priority.”
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