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the opponent Alexeï Navalny sentenced again, his lawyers arrested

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A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced opponent Alexei Navalny to a nine-year prison term after convicting him of fraud and contempt of court. Already imprisoned, the Kremlin enemy activist has been serving a two and a half year sentence for fraud for just over a year.

Russian opponent Alexei Navalny sentenced again. The sworn enemy of the Kremlin was sentenced on Tuesday March 22 to a nine-year prison sentence in a maximum security penal colony, after being found guilty of fraud, as well as “insult” towards a magistrate during from a previous trial.

Judge Margarita Kotova added to this sentence a year and a half of probation and a fine of 1.2 million rubles, or around 10,500 euros at the daily rate.

“Navalny committed a fraud, the theft of property from others by an organized group,” she said, according to an AFP journalist present in court. The prosecution had requested thirteen years in prison for “fraud” and “offending” a magistrate.

The most famous opponent in Russia, aged 45, had been on trial since mid-February within the very walls of his penal colony 100 kilometers east of Moscow, prosecutions which he describes as political. “Putin is afraid of the truth,” he reacted after his conviction.

AFP reports that the Russian opponent’s lawyers were arrested after his trial.

Alexeï Navalny, who has already been serving a two and a half year sentence for fraud for a little over a year, a file also assembled from scratch according to him.

Increased repression

An activist renowned for his scathing investigations into corruption and the lifestyle of Russian elites, Alexei Navalny survived a serious poisoning in 2020 for which he holds President Vladimir Putin responsible. He was arrested in early 2021, upon his return to Moscow, after a long convalescence in Germany.

Investigators accuse him of embezzling millions of rubles in donations to his anti-corruption organizations and of “contempt of court” during one of his previous hearings.

Russia is engaged in a repressive turn of the screw against all voices criticizing the Kremlin: NGOs, media, political opponents.

The extent of this hardening has increased further after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, which in recent weeks has led to the blocking of major social networks in Russia: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and many Russian and foreign media.

With AFP




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