Several criminal cases against the well-known opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his associates were combined into one large case. The decision on this was made by the Investigative Committee of Russia.
A close associate of Navalny, Ivan Zhdanov, informed about the case. The new procedure, which Zhdanov called in an Instagram post “mega criminal law”, combines several hitherto separate accusations of extremism: financing extremism, directing and participating in extremist activity.
Also included are allegations of legalization of funds. “The only one of the last serious criminal cases, which is still separate, is the case of embezzlement,” Zhdanov said.
The initiation of another criminal case
The Investigative Committee announced in September that it had initiated the fourth criminal case in a row against Navalny, Zhdanov and another close associate of the opposition activist, Leonid Volkov. According to investigators, Navalny created an extremist group no later than 2014, and the aim of his “extremist activities” was to “change the foundations of the constitutional system in the Russian Federation, destabilize social security and territorial integrity” of the country. The highest possible sentence under the Criminal Code for such an offense is 10 years in prison.
Navalny is serving a prison sentence in a penal colony for alleged financial fraud. In February, it turned out that a criminal case was initiated against him, Żdanów and Wołków, concerning the establishment of a social organization threatening the rights of citizens. Volkov and Zhdanov left Russia earlier and are living abroad.
Main photo source: Konstantin Lenkov / Shutterstock