Russian Court Sentences Alexei Navalny To 3.5 Years In Prison

Russian Court Sentences Alexei Navalny To 3.5 Years In Prison

Russian Court Sentences Alexei Navalny To 3.5 Years In Prison

Russian Court Sentences Alexei Navalny To 3.5 Years In Prison

update: Moscow City Court has ordered Alexei Navalny to three-and-a-half years in prison for “unlawful conduct” stemming from probation violations related to a 2014 embezzlement conviction.

It’s expected that this will be minus time already served under house arrest plus his current 30-day stint after he returned last month from Berlin.

The Moscow Times notes that:

“Navalny’s suspended sentence of 3.5 years will be transferred into a prison sentence, the court rules. The 10 months Navalny already served under house arrest as part of the first trial will count against that time, meaning he will be imprisoned for a further two years and eight months.

The scene in the packed courtroom moments before the verdict was read aloud:

No doubt there will be sweeping condemnation from the West and the Biden administration in particular.

* * *

A Moscow court is mulling whether to extend opposition activist and politician Alexei Navalny’s current 30-day jail sentence after he returned from Berlin last month where he recovered from an alleged nerve agent poisoning which he’s blamed on Russian intelligence on orders from Putin. He could reportedly be handed a stiff three-and-a-half year prison sentence related to a 2014 embezzlement case and subsequent probation violation, which he has said is “politically motivated”. 

Russia’s foreign ministry is now angered at the spectacle during Tuesday’s court proceedings which saw a large number of Western diplomats crowd the courtroom.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that while they are free to attend public trials, the fact that there were some 20 of them from countries including the United States, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Austria, and Switzerland, shows there’s an attempt to meddle in Russia’s internal legal affairs

Navalny’s court hearing in Moscow Moscow City Court, via Reuters

The trial is taking place in Moscow City Court, and after the unusual influx of foreign diplomatic personnel into the proceedings on Tuesday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was also prompted to say:

“They are free to act in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, but not outside this convention. Of course, diplomats must not interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs in any way and what is more, they must not allow any actions that would be in any way associated with attempts to pressure an independent court,” according to TASS.

For the Kremlin, the scene constitutes more “proof” of a hidden foreign hand behind the Navalny saga. Putin has also previously suggested a foreign intelligence plot to put pressure on Russian leadership. 

Further according to TASS:

He [Peskov] pointed out that these foreign diplomats must “define their actions somehow.” “Either they agree with the need to take tough action against those who violate the Russian law, or this is an attempt to put pressure on the court. I reckon they will define their position somehow,” he said.

The hearing comes after two consecutive weekends of sizeable protests in various Russian cities which the government has declared illicit.

All eyes are on Navalny’s fate, given the US is now threatening new sanctions and other punitive measures while demanding his immediate release. 

It’s Russia’s prison service which is requesting the longer prison sentence, alleging “unlawful conduct” during his probation period.

Since his return from Berlin to Moscow, he’s reportedly urged supporters to take to the streets from his jail cell while also leveling charges of unprecedented theft and corruption against Putin and his associates.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 02/02/2021 – 12:34
Russian Court Sentences Alexei Navalny To 3.5 Years In Prison