Jailed opposition activist Alexey Navalny returned to a Moscow courtroom on Friday morning going through costs that he defamed a World War II veteran after calling him a traitor. The case was adjourned final week after a day of drama.
The courtroom listening to comes simply ten days after the activist was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail, minus ten months already served, after being discovered responsible of breaking the phrases of a suspended sentence, handed down for an embezzlement conviction in 2014.
Navalny is being tried over accusations that he defamed 94-year-old Ignat Artemenko, a former Belarusian Partizan who additionally fought the Nazis as a member of the Red Army. In June 2020, Artemenko appeared in a video revealed by RT, encouraging participation within the then-upcoming vote on proposed constitutional adjustments. The veteran appeared with a bunch of different Russians from totally different professions.
After it got here out, Navalny referred to as the video’s forged “traitors.”
“Oh, here they are, darlings. I must admit that the team of corrupt lackeys looks rather weak. Look at them: this is the shame of the country. People without a conscience. Traitors,” he wrote.
He was subsequently charged by the nation’s Investigative Committee for posting “deliberately false information discrediting the honor and dignity” of a World War II veteran.
The case was first heard final week and it was ultimately adjourned after operating late. The courtroom session was hindered by an extended pause when Artemenko revealed that he felt ailing, in addition to ongoing points with a low-quality web connection. During the listening to, Navalny accused the veteran’s household of utilizing their relative, telling them they might “burn in hell.”
During the session, the courtroom heard testimony from a neighbor of the veteran, his nurse, and his grandson, in addition to a “witness” who learn the tweet on-line.
The prosecutor, Yekaterina Frolova, additionally learn out a press release of Artemenko himself.
“I am offended. I am not a corrupt lackey, but a decent person,” the assertion learn. “I am not a traitor. I have not betrayed anyone in my life.”
The opposition determine’s protection staff has claimed the fees are politically motivated, with the objective of stopping Navalny’s participation in future elections.
“Cases are always fabricated against me, but the authorities experience big problems when things come to courts – everyone knows that the truth is on my side,” Navalny mentioned. “I say simple things that everyone agrees with.”
If discovered responsible, Navalny might obtain a superb of as much as one million rubles ($13,200) or 240 hours of neighborhood service.
Navalny was remanded in custody on January 18, instantly after arriving again in Russia from Germany, the place he spent almost 5 months convalescing after what he claims was a Kremlin-ordered try on his life. The accusation has been strongly denied by Moscow.
On February 2, Navalny was sentenced to three-and-a-half years behind bars, minus time served. His supporters consider the case to be politically motivated, and the unique resolution was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.”
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