New Trial Begins Against Imprisoned Russian Opposition Leader Navalny, Public Excluded

news 19-Jun-2023 Politcs

New Trial Begins Against Alexei Navalny - Public Excluded

A new trial against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is already in prison, will take place in a Russian penal colony, with the public excluded. On Monday, Judge Andrei Suworow justified the move by citing alleged security concerns. Navalny's lawyers, who has been in prison for two years and is recognized internationally as a political prisoner, criticized the decision. The 47-year-old opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin is charged with extremism. He faces up to 30 years in penal colony if convicted.

The prosecution has now formulated a total of seven new charges against him, including the creation and financing of an extremist organization and trivializing Nazism. The Kremlin critic denies these allegations, considering the trial to be a political show. His supporters had heavily criticized the decision to hold the trial in the penal colony, located about 260 kilometers from Moscow, rather than in a courtroom.

Navalny's spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, posted a video on Twitter showing the opposition leader's parents outside the penal colony grounds. Even they were not allowed to see their son. "Alexei's parents saw him for the last time more than a year ago," Yarmysh wrote.

Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok while traveling in Siberia in the summer of 2020. He accuses the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB of being behind the attack. After treatment in Germany, he returned to Russia despite the looming prison sentence and was arrested at the airport.

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