The russian justice twice this Saturday condemned opponent Alexéi Navalni, sanctioning him in one case for “defamation” and, in another, confirming his prison sentence, which he could serve in a Work field.
The 44-year-old anti-corruption activist and opponent, known for his investigations into the fortunes of Russian elites, was sentenced to his first long-term sentence in nearly a decade of lawsuits with authorities, and could be transferred to a labor camp.
Navalni was imprisoned last month when he returned to his country after spending months convalescing in Germany after suffering a poisoning that almost cost him his life and which he accuses the Kremlin. On February 2, he was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
But this Saturday, a Moscow judge reduced this sentence by a month and a half, taking into account the time he had spent under house arrest.
In another hearing, Navalni was sentenced to pay a fine of 850,000 rubles (about 8 million Chilean pesos) for having “defamed” a World War II veteran in a video.
Thus, the opponent will have to serve a sentence of about two and a half years in prison. The court converted a suspended prison sentence for fraud, handed down in 2014, into a sentence with serving the sentence in prison, because the activist violated judicial control during his convalescence in Germany.
Bible and Harry Potter
During his first hearing of the day, Navalni, with a smiling gesture, rejected the sentence and assured that his intention, by going to Germany, was not to get rid of the Russian authorities, which he warned of his return to Russia.
“I bought a ticket and told everyone I was coming home. This is absurd, ”he told the judge.
The prosecutor replied that the opponent had broken the law “openly” and that he behaved as if he were above the norms.
“Our country relies on injustice,” Navalni said after hearing the sentence, before citing the Bible: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice because they will be satisfied.”
In addition, he mentioned a harry potter passage on the “importance” of not “feeling alone”, because that is what Voldemort would want, the enemy of the famous wizard.
During his second hearing he was also defiant, joking.
“Why are they so sad?” He declared, saying that he had tried to make ice cream at the detention center, and also that he had prepared pickles.
In previous hearings, Navalni had denounced that the courts manipulated the 94-year-old veteran to repress an adversary of power.
Uliana Solopova, spokeswoman for the Moscow courthouse, He assured AFP on Friday that the prison services will be able to transfer the opponent to one of the numerous labor camps in Russia if his conviction is confirmed.
A heritage from the Soviet Union, most jail terms in Russia are served in prison labor camps often far from everything. The work of the detainees, usually in sewing or furniture manufacturing workshops, is compulsory.
A lawyer for the opponent indicated that he will appeal the ruling on appeal.
The portavoz del Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov, For his part, he argued that the ruling would not change Russia’s “rich and plural” political landscape before the legislative elections in September.
The two hearings took place after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demanded this week the release of the anti-corruption militant, claiming that there is a risk to his life.
Moscow refuted the request of the ECHR as it did with the calls in this regard from the European Union, despite the threat of new sanctions.
Navalni, whose imprisonment in January led to three days of protests repressed by the police, denounces that these judicial procedures are a set-up.
According to him, the Kremlin wants to put him in jail to silence him after failing in its attempt to assassinate him by poisoning last summer. Moscow rejects these accusations.
Navalni is also the subject of other lawsuits. For example, the justice investigates him for fraud and if he is found guilty, he could spend 10 years in jail.
The European Union and the United States have multiplied calls for his release, while the opposition’s collaborators urged the West to impose sanctions on top Russian officials and those close to Putin.
Moscow sees this as “interference” in its affairs and threatened the Europeans with retaliation.