Alexei Navalny returned home to Russia in January – only to fly straight into the arms of the police, as expected. He was arrested at the airport and sentenced on February 2 to 3.5 years in prison for violating the rules of a previous conditional sentence for embezzlement.
Prison authorities accused Navalny of failing to inform them – including while he was in a coma in Germany after he was found poisoned by the Soviet neurotoxin Novitjok.
Navalny says the case against him is politically motivated and an attempt to silence him. The arrest triggered the largest demonstrations critical of the government in several years and caused new tensions in Russia’s relations with the West, with several leaders demanding Navalny’s immediate release.
Now the 44-year-old is seated They are held in Moscow’s notorious Matroskaya Tishina detention center, where detainees are monitored everywhere and at all times, even on the toilet. If the verdict comes, it will likely be placed in what is called the regular penal colony, according to the human rights expert TT spoke to previously.
But the issue is only settled in the first place.
Navalny is expected to appear in court on Saturday and file his appeal. He has the ECHR at his side – it is calling on Russia to release Navalny because it believes there may be a danger to his life in prison.
However, Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko criticized the decision of the European Court of Justice, saying that the request could not be complied with as it had no basis in the country’s legislation.
Now he refused to appeal to the Russian critic of the regime. But a Russian court reduced the prison sentence to a month and a half, according to Reuters. The six weeks that Alexei Navalny spent under house arrest will also be deducted, meaning that he will be imprisoned for 2.5 years, according to Agence France-Presse.
It is expected on Saturday Also ruling in another trial against Navalny.
It is about allegations of defamation of a veteran who appeared in a Kremlin-friendly advertising video of the Russian constitutional amendments – which led Navalny to speak of him as a “stain on the country” and a “traitor.” In that case, the prosecutor demanded a fine of 950,000 rubles (the equivalent of about 107,000 crowns).
In court, Navalny refused to apologize from the veterans, which he says was used for political gains for the Kremlin.