Moscow, 22 Mar The imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni, was today found guilty of large-scale fraud, a crime for which the prosecution seeks a sentence of 13 years in prison.
“Navalni committed a scam, that is, the appropriation of other people’s property by deception and breach of trust,” said Judge Margarita Kótova, quoted by the Interfax agency, when reading the conviction in a hearing held in the prison where the opponent is serving his sentence.
In addition to the 13-year prison sentence, the prosecution requested that Navalni, also accused of “contempt of court”, be fined 1.2 million rubles (about 12,000 dollars).
Russian investigators accuse the 45-year-old opponent of having diverted, along with his collaborators, several million rubles of donations given to his anti-corruption organization.
Navalni’s Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), which fights illicit enrichment among senior Russian officials, was outlawed in the country in June 2021 when the Justice considered its activity as an “extremist”.
Since February 2021, Navalni, considered one of the most critical voices of the Kremlin, is serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for another case of alleged fraud dating back to 2014.
In 2020, the opponent spent several months in treatment in Germany after surviving a nerve agent poisoning, for which he held Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible.
“I argue 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. CHIEF
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