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Russia. The lawyer of the convicted oppositionist Kara-Murza left the country

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Lawyer Vadim Prokhorov left Russia in response to warnings that he could be prosecuted. In an interview with the Voice of America, he explained that the deputy attorney general might be interested in him.

Vadim Prokhorov, the lawyer of the oppositionist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison, stated in an interview with Voice of America that he had left Russia and currently resides outside its borders.

The reason for this decision, according to the Nastoyashcheye Vremya television portal, were “warnings” that he could be prosecuted in a criminal case. – Both the prosecutor and the judge, using various arguments, argued that not only should I be removed from the bar, but also that the issue of instituting a criminal case should be considered – the lawyer said in an interview.

– I also received a warning through one of the politicians that the Deputy Attorney General, who was supervising our case, might be interested in me – he added.

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Kremlin critic sentenced to 25 years in prison

April 17 court in Moscow Vladimir Kara-Murza, an anti-Kremlin opposition activist, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was charged with “high treason”, the trial was held behind closed doors.

The oppositionist, arrested in April 2022, was also covered by separate criminal cases regarding the dissemination of “untrue information” about the Russian army and participation in the activities of organizations considered “undesirable”.

Vladimir Kara-Murza sentenced in a Moscow court to 25 years in prisonReuters

Formally, the sentence, which was handed down on Monday, applies to all these charges: the court combined the sentences of 18 years for alleged high treason, seven years – for “fake news” about the activities of the army and three years – for participation in “undesirable organizations”, imposing a total of 25 years of imprisonment, the Russian independent Mediazona reported.

Kara-Murza punished for public appearances

As Prokhorov told the Russian BBC, no secret documents were considered at the trial, which usually justifies the secrecy of high treason proceedings.

In fact, Kara-Murza was prosecuted because of his public appearances abroad where he spoke of violations human rights in Russia, election rigging and Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Investigators claimed that in doing so he “created threats to Russia’s internal security and territorial integrity.” This is the first time, the BBC notes, that a Russian citizen has been charged with high treason for stating publicly known facts in public appearances.

Kara-Murza survived two poisoning attempts – in 2015 and 2017. The oppositionist and his relatives are convinced that the Russian special services were behind them.

Main photo source: MAXIM SHIPENKOV/PAP/EPA

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