Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

MELEKHOVO, Russia — Imprisoned Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny went on trial Monday on new prices of extremism that would maintain him behind bars for many years.

The trial opened at a most safety penal colony in Melekhovo, 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of Moscow, the place Navalny, 47, is serving a nine-year sentence for fraud and contempt of court docket — prices he says are politically motivated.

Navalny, who uncovered official corruption and arranged main anti-Kremlin protests, was arrested in January 2021 upon returning to Moscow after recuperating in Germany from nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Navalny, carrying his jail garb, regarded gaunt on the session however spoke emphatically concerning the weak spot of the state’s case and gestured energetically.

Navalny has stated the brand new extremism prices, which he rejected as “absurd,” may maintain him in jail for an additional 30 years. He stated an investigator advised him that he would additionally face a separate army trial on terrorism prices that would doubtlessly carry a life sentence.

Monday’s trial got here amid a sweeping Russian crackdown on dissent amid the combating in Ukraine, which Navalny has harshly criticized.

The Moscow Metropolis Court docket, which opened the listening to at Penal Colony No. 6, didn’t permit reporters within the courtroom and so they watched the proceedings through video feed from a separate constructing. Navalny’s mother and father additionally have been denied entry to the court docket and adopted the listening to remotely.

Navalny and his attorneys urged the decide to carry an open trial, arguing that authorities are desperate to suppress particulars of the proceedings to cowl up the weak spot of the case.

“The investigators, the prosecutors and the authorities basically don’t desire the general public to know concerning the trial,” Navalny stated.

Prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova requested the decide to conduct the trial behind closed doorways, citing safety considerations.

The feed from the session to media room was then lower, but it surely wasn’t instantly clear if it was as a result of the decide determined to shut the trial or if it was for an additional purpose.

The brand new prices relate to the actions of Navalny’s anti-corruption basis and statements by his high associates. His allies stated the fees retroactively criminalize all of the actions of Navalny’s basis since its creation in 2011.

One in all Navalny’s associates, Daniel Kholodny, was relocated from a unique jail to face trial alongside him.

Navalny has spent months in a tiny one-person cell, additionally known as a “punishment cell,” for purported disciplinary violations resembling an alleged failure to correctly button his jail garments, correctly introduce himself to a guard or to clean his face at a specified time.

Navalny’s associates and supporters have accused jail authorities of failing to supply him with correct medical help and voiced concern about his well being.

As Navalny’s trial opened, the Prosecutor Common’s workplace declared the Bulgaria-based Agora human rights group to be an “undesirable” group. It stated the group poses a “menace to the constitutional order and nationwide safety” by alleging human rights violations and providing authorized help to members of the opposition motion.

Russian authorities have banned dozens of home and overseas nongovernmental organizations on related grounds.

In Berlin, the German authorities criticized the trial of Navalny and reiterated its name for his rapid launch.

“In case of of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the Russian authorities maintain on the lookout for new excuses to increase his imprisonment,” authorities spokesman Wolfgang Buechner advised reporters.

“The German authorities continues to demand of the Russian authorities that they launch Navalny directly,” he added. “Navalny’s imprisonment is predicated on a politically motivated verdict, because the European Court docket of Human Rights concluded again in 2017.”

Requested whether or not Germany may present any help to Navalny or observe the trial, International Ministry spokesman Christian Wagner stated German officers have been doing what they may “on the few channels that we now have,” however acknowledged it was “very tough in the mean time” given the present state of relations with Russia.


Related Press author Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.

Avatar photo

By Admin

Leave a Reply