Russia’s prosecutor’s office is demanding 20 years in prison for Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny, accused of “extremism”, his associate Ivan Zhdanov said on Thursday. Navalny is already serving a prison sentence for alleged financial crimes.
According to Zhdanov, the trial against Navalny, which is taking place behind closed doors in prison, is expected to end on August 4.
The oppositionist’s associates also reported that during Thursday’s hearing, Navalny criticized the war Russia against Ukraine, calling it “the stupidest and most senseless war in the 21st century”, in which tens of thousands of people have already died.
Navalny was detained in January 2021
Navalny, 47, is a staunch opponent of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He exposed corruption among representatives of the authorities and organized anti-government protests. He was detained in January 2021 when he returned to Moscow after treatment in Germany after an attempted poisoning. According to the oppositionist, the attempt on his life was organized by the Russian special services.
In February 2021, the court suspended Navalny’s old prison sentence for alleged financial fraud. In March 2022, the politician received another sentence – nine years in a maximum security penal colony on charges of embezzlement and contempt of court. Two months later, he was indicted in another case involving “forming an extremist organization,” and in October, the list of charges included, among other charges, “promoting terrorism” and “rehabilitating Nazism”.
In June this year, a new trial began in a penal colony in the Vladimir region, in which the authorities accused Navalny of “extremism”. Navalny rejects all charges against him as politically motivated.
Main photo source: SERGEI ILNITSKY/EPA/PAP