Saturday, April 1

Russia convicts opponent Navalni of large-amount fraud

The imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni was found guilty today of fraud involving a large amount, a crime for which the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for a sentence of 13 years in prison.

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“Navalni committed a fraud, that is, the appropriation of other people’s property through deceit and abuse of trust,” judge Margarita Kótova, quoted by the Interfax agency, said when reading the conviction in a hearing held in the prison where Navalny is serving his sentence. opponent.

The Public Ministry had requested last week 13 years in prison and a fine of 1.2 million rubles (about 12,000 dollars) for Navalni, for “fraud” and “court offenses”. Russian investigators accuse the 45-year-old opponent of having diverted, together with his collaborators, millions of rubles of donations given to his anti-corruption organization.

Navalni’s Fund Against Corruption (FBK, for its acronym in Russian), which fights against illicit enrichment among senior Russian officials, was outlawed in the country in June 2021 when the Justice considered its activity as “extremist”.

Since February 2021, Navalni, considered one of the most critical voices of the Kremlin, has been serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for another “fraud” case dating back to 2014.

In 2020, the opponent spent several months in treatment in Germany after surviving poisoning by a nerve agent, for which he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I maintain that Putin is behind the events and I have no other versions of what happened,” the opponent told the German weekly “Der Spiegel” after being discharged in Berlin.