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Putin critic Navalny sentenced to 9 years in prison by Russian court

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was seen in a screen through a video connection during his conviction in embezzlement of contempt of the court trial in IK-2 prison colony. This occurred on March 22nd, 2022. An AFP journalist stated that Alexei Navalny was sentenced to nine year imprisonment by a Russian court after he had been found guilty of embezzlement, contempt of court and other charges.

Getty Images -| Afp | Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found guilty of fraud and contempt and sentenced on Tuesday to nine years imprisonment in maximum security. This trial, which Kremlin critics consider a plot to imprison President Vladimir Putin’s most hated foe for as long possible.

Navalny was also ordered to pay an amount of $11,500 (1.2 million rubles). Navalny has the right to appeal this decision.

Navalny, who is already serving 2½ years in a penal colony east of Moscow, had been accused of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised over the years and of insulting a judge during a previous trial.

The accusations were dismissed by the politician. Prosecution had requested 13 years imprisonment in maximum security prison as an anti-corruption crusader, and a fine of 1.2million rubles.

It is not clear at this time if Navalny will serve his sentence concurrently or as an addition to the current. Also, it was unclear to what maximum security facility Navalny would transfer to.

Navalny replied to the ruling on Twitter with an excerpt from “The Wire” TV series, “(Nine). Years.” As my favourite TV show, The Wire said: “You only do two days.” This is the time you enter and leave. The prison authorities took my T-shirt that had the slogan and confiscated it because of its extremist print.

Navalny, who is currently serving a sentence in Moscow for parole violation violations, opened the trial in an informal courtroom just a month before it began. Navalny’s supporters have criticised the move to Moscow from Moscow to hold the trial, alleging that the courthouse has restricted access to media and their supporters.

Navalny (45) appeared in prison clothes and gave several speeches at the hearing decrying his charges.

Navalny was taken into custody in January 2021, immediately after his return to Germany. There, Navalny spent five months recuperating from the poisoning which he suspected was caused by Russia. Russian officials strongly denied this claim. Shortly after the arrest, a court sentenced him to 2½ years in prison over the parole violations stemming from a 2014 suspended sentence in a fraud case that Navalny insists was politically driven.

Authorities launched a massive crackdown against Navalny’s associates and supporters after his imprisonment. His closest allies have left Russia after facing multiple criminal charges, and his Foundation for Fighting Corruption and a network of nearly 40 regional offices were outlawed as extremist — a designation that exposes people involved to prosecution.

Russian officials included Navalny, along with a few of his associates, to the state register of terrorists and extremists last month.

Navalny has been the subject of several criminal investigations, which led his friends to believe that the Kremlin wants to hold him in prison for as much time as possible.

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