Prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova also called for a fine of 1.2 million rubles (10,000 fine francs) on Tuesday in the lawsuit for alleged fraud, which has been criticized as political theater. Navalny’s team spoke of new evidence of the arbitrariness of the judiciary in Russia.
“We have said that Putin wants to keep Navalny in prison forever,” opposition spokeswoman Kira Garmisch said. Navalny is the most vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Navalny faces up to 15 years in prison
This time around, Navalny must be held accountable for allegations of misappropriation of funds for his now-banned anti-corruption foundation and for insulting a judge. According to his team, Navalny faces up to 15 years in prison. The court refused to transfer the trial to the Russian capital, Moscow, about 100 km away.
The 45-year-old said in court that the prosecution’s client was afraid that everyone would then be able to see the charge was trumped up. However, many journalists found themselves in the criminal camp in Pokrov in the Vladimir region, as reported by the Kremlin critical newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”.
Garmisch said Putin was retaliating against Navalny with this measure “after he had failed to kill him”. A Kremlin opponent narrowly escaped an assassination attempt with chemical warfare agent Novichok in August 2020. The president denied his involvement. The European Union imposed sanctions on Russia over the attack.
Navalny returned to Russia a year ago after recovering in Germany. He was arrested on January 17, 2021 at Moscow airport for violating circumstances in another criminal case during his recovery.
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