Moscow, Sep 28 (EFE).- Russian authorities opened a new criminal case against imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Tuesday, a day after he was nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
In a statement, the Investigative Committee said the opposition leader had created and directed an extremist organization, violating article 282.1 of the Russian Criminal Code.
If convicted, Navalny, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in February, could face up to 10 years in jail.
The investigating authority accused Navalny’s already banned Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), founded in 2014, of engaging in illegal activities such as discrediting state authorities and destabilizing the situation in the regions.
“Practically, Navalny has been sentenced for life. He will not be freed from prison while (President Vladimir) Putin is in power. They will release him if he is willing to leave forever,” Gennady Gudkov, a former lawmaker and Putin critic exiled in Bulgaria, told Efe.
The European Parliament is set to announce the three finalists for the Sakharov prize in mid-October.EFE