A Russian courtroom on Friday handed Aleksei A. Navalny, the jailed opposition chief, a brand new 19-year jail sentence on expenses of supporting “extremism,” Russian state information media reported, a ruling that got here amid intensified suppression of dissent in Russia.
Mr. Navalny, whose anticorruption investigations criticizing the Kremlin drew common help and infuriated Russia’s prime management, was already serving a nine-year sentence in a maximum-security penal colony in east of Moscow.
Acquittals are extraordinarily uncommon in Russian courts, particularly towards opposition figures. Mr. Navalny and his supporters had predicted a harsh sentence, particularly on condition that the Kremlin in latest months has banned criticism of its conflict in Ukraine, stepped up its jailing of opposition voices and shuttered liberal information media retailers.
Within the case selected Friday, Mr. Navalny, 47, was charged with selling terrorism, funding extremism and rehabilitating Nazism. Prosecutors had known as for him to serve an extra 20 years in jail on prime of his conviction in March on fraud expenses, a case that rights teams mentioned was politically motivated.
Earlier than the conflict, a two-decade sentence for what is actually dissent would have been unusually harsh. However the ruling was the newest in a string of utmost judgments.
In April, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a dissident with Russian and British citizenship and a contributor to The Washington Put up, was sentenced to 25 years in jail for treason, spreading “faux” info and taking part in an “undesirable group.” Mr. Kara-Murza misplaced an enchantment of the ruling this week.
Mr. Navalny and Western rights teams have denounced the fees towards him as an try to silence dissent towards President Vladimir V. Putin.
“The sentence will probably be an extended one,” Mr. Navalny mentioned in a press release launched by his group on the Telegram app on Thursday earlier than the decision. “Take into consideration why such a demonstratively enormous sentence is required. Its most important objective is to intimidate. You, not me. I’ll even say this: you personally, studying these traces,” he added.
The most recent expenses towards Mr. Navalny had been specified by Moscow’s district courtroom in late July, and the trial was performed in closed-door hearings on the penal colony the place he’s being held. His dad and mom tried to attend the proceedings however had been denied entry, based on Mr. Navalny’s group, which mentioned that his dad and mom haven’t seen their son for over a 12 months.
Mr. Navalny practically 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 remedy in Germany, he returned the next 12 months to Russia, the place ready safety forces detained him.
His group, the Anti-Corruption Basis, was subsequently outlawed — declared an “extremist” outfit — and the Russian authorities started to crack down much more severely on its actions.
Two of Mr. Navalny’s associates had been sentenced in mid-July to jail phrases of seven and a half years and two and a half years for taking part within the group. A minimum of 15 activists who labored with Mr. Navalny face comparable expenses, based on his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh.
Many members have gone into exile, from the place the group has continued its work, publishing investigations into high-ranking Russian officers, together with Protection Minister Sergei Okay. Shoigu and Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, the founding father of the Wagner mercenary group.