Russian opponent Alexei Navalny convicted of fraud and expected heavy sentence

Opponents of the Russian government, judged by a court sitting in the prison where he is detained, are at risk of another 13 years in prison.

A Russian judge found Alexei Navalny guilty on Tuesday.scam” When “Contempt of court“Amid rising crackdowns from the attacks in Ukraine, it paved the way for a severe extension of the Kremlin’s main enemy’s sentence.

The prosecution last week called for Alexei Navalny to extend his two-and-a-half-year imprisonment, which he had served for more than a year, to 13 years in prison. A charismatic anti-corruption activist and former lawyer, 45, has been tried in an improvised court behind the walls of a penal colony 100 km east of Moscow since mid-February. According to an AFP journalist on the spot, he attended a hearing in a convicted uniform on Tuesday and put his hand in his pocket between two laughs and a discussion with a lawyer. I heard that, and I was thin.

Judge Margarita Kotoba, of course, pleaded guilty to him when he began reading a decision that could last for hours before the decision was announced. “”Navalny commits fraud by organized groups, property theft from othersShe said in a quick, mechanical voice. “”Navalny showed contempt in court and insulted the judge“A few minutes later, she added. At the end of the verdict, Alexei Navalny, at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, said,”Strict mealA place far from Moscow and with much more stringent detention conditions. About 100 journalists watched a video broadcast of a hearing in a press room set up in a criminal colony. In the midst of a wave of threats to the Kremlin’s critical voice, there were no opponents’ supporters, except for his two lawyers.

Unsuppressed repression

In a case brought to justice on Tuesday, investigators said Alexei Navalny embezzled millions of rubles in a donation to his anti-corruption organization, and “Contempt of courtDuring the last trial. He condemned these accusations as fictitious and ordered the Kremlin to keep him in prison as much as possible. Alexei Navalny, an activist known for his bitter research on Russian corruption and the elite lifestyle, has been suffering from unrestrained oppression from power for over two years.

In August 2020, he became seriously ill in Siberia and was the victim of a nerve agent poisoning directly sponsored by the Russian President. The Kremlin has denied this, but Russian authorities have never investigated the alleged attempted assassination. When he returned to Russia in January 2021, after a five-month recovery period, he was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.scamDating back to 2014, the French company Yves Rocher has been involved.

In June 2021, his organization, which had been campaigning all over Russia for many years, said:RadicalsIt was soon banned and many activists were exiled to avoid prosecution. Others have been arrested and face heavy imprisonment. This relentless crackdown, with the last media and NGO bans critical of the Kremlin, prompted Western protests and sanctions against Moscow.

No conflict in Ukraine

Even from his penal colony, Alexei Navalny continues to send messages condemning the power of Vladimir Putin. He has been strongly opposed to the fight since the attack in Ukraine. He continues to call for protests against the conflict, despite the risks involved, and authorities have imposed heavy imprisonment and further strengthened legal weapons to curb criticism of Russian troops. .. Despite all, more than 15,000 people were arrested in Russia in about a month for opposition to the attack, according to the expert NGO OVD-Info.

At the same time, the government has strengthened its grip on the dissemination of information on conflicts by blocking access to dozens of domestic and foreign media in Russia. On Monday, Russian justice also banned popular American social networks Instagram and Facebook, which were accused of being like Navalny.Radical“. Like Twitter and TikTok, these are already blocked in Russia.

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