May 18, 2022

Kremlin critic Navalny faces new trial in prison | Government and politics

Navalny can receive up to 15 years in prison if convicted, his allies said, in addition to the sentence he was sentenced to serve last year.

Navalny was arrested in January 2021 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin, charges officials deny.

Shortly after the arrest, a court sentenced him to 2½ years in prison for violating parole stemming from a 2014 suspended sentence in a fraud case Navalny said was politically motivated.

After Navalny’s imprisonment, authorities unleashed a broad crackdown on his associates and supporters. Its closest allies have left Russia after facing multiple criminal charges, and its Anti-Corruption Foundation and a network of nearly 40 regional offices have been banned as extremists – a designation that exposes the people involved in the lawsuits.

Earlier this month, Russian officials added Navalny and a number of his associates to a national register of extremists and terrorists.

Several criminal cases have been launched against Navalny individually, leading his associates to suggest the Kremlin intends to keep the politician behind bars for as long as possible.

“Navalny is in prison as a politician. He spoke the truth, ran for president and for that Putin tried to kill him and then sent him to prison,” a close Navalny ally, Ivan Zhdanov, wrote on Facebook this month. “And there is no doubt that Putin will come back with more and more political business.