Moscow, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- A Moscow court on Saturday rejected an appeal from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny against his 3.5 year imprisonment after he was found guilty of violating the conditions of his parole.
Navalny was detained last month after returning from Germany, where he was receiving treatment from a alleged poisoning attack by Russian government agents.
He has accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ordering the alleged attack. The Kremlin denies any involvement.
The opposition leader was found guilty in 2014 of embezzlement charges that he said were fabricated and which the European Court of Human Rights has dismissed as “arbitrary”.
In total, he will have to spend 2 years and six months and two weeks in a prison camp, as the ten months he was under house arrest during the 2014 trial are also deducted from the sentence according to the previous ruling.
Navalny can still file a cassation appeal, although the chances of it succeeding are extremely remote.
“I usually conclude with the words ‘Russia will be free.’ But that is not enough. I want people to receive normal wages, to retire with dignity. Russia is a wretched country. It is seen in its literatures: only misfortunes and sufferings. Russia must not only be free, but also happy – Russia will be happy!” Navalny said in his closing remarks before the ruling.
The imprisonment of the opposition leader triggered the largest street protests in Russia in recent years, during which more than 10,000 people were arrested. EFE-EPA