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22 Mar, 2022 12:34

Navalny sentenced to nine more years in prison

A court in Moscow has sentenced the opposition figure to nine years in prison
Navalny sentenced to nine more years in prison

Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a fraud and contempt of court case. The activist was already serving a two years and eight months term under a separate sentence. The activist has also been sent to a higher security facility, with a more restrictive regime for inmates.  

Navalny pleaded not guilty during the trial, in which prosecutors had sought 13 years behind bars. The ruling can be appealed. 

On Tuesday, the Lefortovo court in Moscow agreed with the prosecution, which had argued that in some cases, large donations to Navalny’s anti-corruption and political campaigning organizations were used by him and his co-conspirators to cover personal expenses. Navalny was ordered to pay a 1.2 million rubles ($11,500) fine in addition to the time behind bars.

Part of the punishment is over Navalny’s previous behavior in the courtroom, last year, when he was tried for insulting a Second World War veteran, Ignat Artemenko, then aged 91. The activist denounced the proceedings as illegitimate and used disparaging language towards the judge. At one point, he addressed her by the rank of a Nazi officer.

Under the sentence, after his prison term ends Navalny will have to serve one and half extra years of probation, with certain restrictions placed on his movements.

The activist is already serving a jail term in a separate case involving fraud, with centers around the French company Yves Rocher. He was originally given a suspended sentence, but a court later ruled that he had violated the terms of his probation and sent him to prison last year. Navalny's supporters have complained that he was outside the country, recovering from an alleged poisoning attempt, and was unable to meet the requirements.  

The opposition figure claims he is being persecuted by the Russian government, which, he says, has tried to assassinate him. Moscow denies this, and has accused Navalny of working with hostile foreign governments to tarnish Russia’s reputation.