"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Russian Court Sentences Navalny to Nine Years in Prison

Russian
Courtesy of Sue Kellerman (Flickr CCO)

On Tuesday, a Russian court found Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, guilty of more charges. He was convicted of contempt of court and embezzlement. Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in prison. Moscow is seeking to remove lingering pockets of dissent.

He was accused by investigators of taking several million dollars that were donated to his political organizations for personal use.

The sentence was given 27 days into what Moscow calls an important military operation in Western Ukraine consisting of 10 million people displaced and thousands dead.

Based on an AFP reporter who attended the hearing, Navalny committed fraud, because he stole property from an organized party. The hearing was held at his penal territory in Pokrov, which is 70 miles east of Moscow. Navalny was also convicted of contempt of court. His lawyers, Vadim Kobzev and Olga Mikhailova were held by law enforcement in front of the prison after the verdict, based on a report from Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

Navalny was previously Russian President Putin’s most spoken domestic critic. He will now serve his newly imposed sentence, nine years incarceration, in a firmly enforced regime disciplinary community as sentenced by the court. This will place him in more cruel surroundings. This nine-year sentence will add to the time he is currently serving. He has also been given a fine of 1.2 million rubles, which is the equivalent of $11,500.

He was originally serving his sentence for parole violations east of Moscow in a Russian prison camp. He said the charges he originally had were also fake to deter his political ambitions.

The Russian opposition leader was given a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence last year for parole violations in regards to previous fraud charges during recovery from a poison attack involving the Novichok nerve agent. He blames the Kremlin.

Russian
Courtesy of Sue Kellerman (Flickr CCO)

Navalny showed up to the provisional court in his black prison attire, while journalists watched on a video link. A report stated that Navalny listened carefully as Judge Kotova read the verdict and smiled.

The prosecution asked for Navalny’s sentence to be expanded an additional four years, which would give him a 13-year sentence. Additionally, he would be transferred to a strictly enforced regime disciplinary community. This request has his team concerned it will limit their access to him, because the transfer could place him far away.

He denied all the charges and stated that he was being punished for challenging Russian President Putin. This sentence will keep President Putin’s biggest competition, Navalny, out of any political running for nine years or more.

“The whole world knows that this trial has nothing to do with the law,” An ally of Navalny, Ruslan Shaveddinov, stated in a live commentary of the court hearing on YouTube directly after the sentencing announcement. “We see that Alexei will be held in prison for many more years; they hope to do that. We can’t turn a blind eye to this as we see that everything is headed toward a very sad end of our country.”

Written by Marrissa Kay

Sources:

The Washington Post: Russian court sentences Kremlin critic Navalny to nine more years in prison on fraud conviction; by Mary Ilyushina
France24: Kremlin critic Navalny sentenced to nine years in prison for embezzlement; by News Wires
Reuters: Russia sentences Kremlin critic Navalny to nine years in prison

Featured and Top Images Courtesy of Sue Kellerman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Sue Kellerman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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