Verdict Expected in Latest Trial of Russian Opposition Leader Navalny

A Russian courtroom is predicted to situation a verdict on Friday in a trial of Aleksei A. Navalny, the jailed opposition chief, on expenses of supporting “extremism,” a ruling that would lengthen his time in jail by as much as 20 years.

Mr. Navalny, whose anticorruption investigations criticizing the Kremlin drew in style help and infuriated Russia’s high management, is already serving a nine-year sentence in a maximum-security penal colony in Melekhovo, 150 miles east of Moscow.

The verdict comes amid intensified suppression of dissent in Russia, which has banned criticism of its warfare in Ukraine, stepped up its jailing of opposition voices and shuttered liberal information media shops.

In the case being selected Friday, Mr. Navalny, 47, is charged with selling terrorism, funding extremism and rehabilitating Nazism. Prosecutors have known as for him to serve an extra 20 years in jail on high of his conviction in March on fraud expenses, a case that rights teams mentioned was politically motivated.

Acquittals are extraordinarily uncommon in Russian courts, particularly in opposition to opposition figures accused of offenses in opposition to state safety. Mr. Navalny and Western rights teams have denounced the costs in opposition to him as an try and silence dissent in opposition to President Vladimir V. Putin.

“The sentence will be a long one,” Mr. Navalny said in a statement launched by his group on the Telegram app on Thursday earlier than the anticipated verdict. “Think about why such a demonstratively huge sentence is needed. Its main purpose is to intimidate. You, not me. I will even say this: you personally, reading these lines,” he added.

The newest expenses in opposition to Mr. Navalny have been laid out in Moscow’s district courtroom in late July, and the trial has been performed in closed-door hearings on the penal colony the place he’s being held. His mother and father tried to attend the trial however have been denied entry, in response to Mr. Navalny’s group, which mentioned that his mother and father haven’t seen their son for over a 12 months.

Daniel Kholodny, who previously helped run Mr. Navalny’s YouTube channel, has additionally been charged in the case with funding and selling extremism. Prosecutors have asked the courtroom to condemn Mr. Kholodny to 10 years in jail; his verdict can also be anticipated on Friday.

Mr. Navalny almost died in 2020 after being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, an episode that he and Western officers have described as an assassination try by the Kremlin. The Russian authorities has denied involvement.

After receiving medical therapy in Germany, he returned the next 12 months to Russia, the place ready safety forces detained him. His group was subsequently outlawed — declared an “extremist” outfit — and the Russian authorities started to crack down much more severely on its actions.

In the primary convictions for the reason that group’s banning, two of his associates have been sentenced in mid-July to jail phrases of seven and a half years and two and a half years for taking part in the group. At least 15 activists who labored with Mr. Navalny face related expenses, in response to his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh. Many have gone into exile.

Mr. Navalny advised a courtroom in late July that he anticipated to be convicted as effectively.

“Everyone in Russia knows that someone who seeks justice in court is completely defenseless,” Mr. Navalny advised the courtroom, in response to his group. “In a country ruled by a criminal, controversial issues are resolved by bargaining, power, bribery, deceit, betrayal and other real-life mechanisms, and not by some kind of law.”

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