Decision to jail Kremlin critic more likely to spur additional protests and deepen a rift between Western powers and Russia.
A Russian court docket has sentenced Alexey Navalny to jail over alleged parole violations in an embezzlement case courting again to 2014, which the Kremlin opponent argues is politically motivated.
Tuesday’s ruling on the Simonovsky District Court in Moscow is more likely to gas extra demonstrations in assist of Navalny and deepen a rift between Russia and Western powers demanding the 44-year-old’s launch.
No different data was instantly obtainable.
The choice comes two weeks after Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon returning to Moscow from Berlin, the place he spent 5 months recovering from an alleged nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities reject the accusation.
Speaking from a glass cage within the courtroom throughout his listening to, Navalny attributed his arrest to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “fear and hatred,” saying the Russian chief will go right down to historical past as a “poisoner.”
“I have deeply offended him simply by surviving the assassination attempt that he ordered,” he mentioned.
“The aim of that hearing is to scare a great number of people,” Navalny mentioned. “You can’t jail millions. You can’t jail the entire country.”
Russian police detained 311 individuals in Moscow forward of the listening to, the OVD-Info protest monitoring group mentioned.
Riot police have been deployed in giant numbers exterior the court docket after Navalny’s allies referred to as on the opposition politician’s supporters to assemble exterior in assist.
Navalny’s detention has sparked nationwide protests in opposition to Putin. Tens of 1000’s of individuals defied a heavy police presence to fill the streets in cities and cities throughout Russia on Sunday for the second week working to demand the Kremlin critic’s launch.
Western powers have in the meantime referred to as on Russia to free Navalny, with some threatening contemporary sanctions.
The Kremlin has dismissed considerations from the worldwide neighborhood, saying the case is a home situation.
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