Crime & Justice

Putin critic Navalny sentenced to 19 more years in prison

Moscow, Aug 4 (EFE). Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced Friday to a further 19 years in prison for extremism, among other charges.

Navalny, 47, will have to serve the sentence in a special regime prison, where repeat offenders or those who have received life sentences are held.

The trial took place at a prison some 200 kilometers from Moscow where he is already serving nine years for fraud.

The opposition leader and critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin was found guilty of creating an “extremist” organization, the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), which was founded in 2011 and outlawed two years ago.

The FBK was a major source of irritation for the Kremlin because it denounced the illicit enrichment of high-ranking officials, including Putin, accusing the president in 2021 of having a sumptuous palace on the shores of the Black Sea.

Navalny was also charged with financing and instigating extremist activities, creating an organization that undermined citizens’ rights and involving minors in dangerous actions, referring to unauthorized opposition demonstrations.

The judge at the Moscow City Court, Andrey Suvorov, took only a few minutes to announce the sentence against Navalny, who appeared in the courtroom dressed in a prison uniform.

The penitentiary services prevented the press from being present in the courtroom and journalists had to follow the hearing on television from another room.

The opposition fear Navalny will not be released as long as Putin, who will most likely stand for re-election in 2024, remains in power.

Navalny, who had predicted that he would receive a “Stalinist” sentence of 18 years, on Thursday pointed out that he still has to be tried by a military court for terrorism, which could mean another ten year sentence.

He urged his associates not to give up and to continue protesting against the Kremlin, even if that protest is silent.

“There is nothing shameful in choosing the safest form of protest. There is shame in doing nothing and allowing yourself to be intimidated,” he said on Telegram. EFE


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