MELEKHOVO: Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny had an extra 19 years added to his jail term on Friday in a criminal case that he and his supporters said had been trumped up to keep him behind bars and out of politics for even longer.

Navalny, 47, President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic critic, is already serving sentences totalling eleven and a half years on fraud and other charges that he says are also bogus. His political movement has been outlawed and declared “extremist”.

A court at his IK-6 penal colony in Melekhovo, about 235km east of Moscow, on Friday brought to a close his trial on six separate charges, including inciting and financing extremist activity and creating an extremist organisation.

The audio feed from the court, where the trial had been held behind closed doors, was so poor that it was practically impossible to make out what the judge was saying.

US, EU condemn sentencing

Journalists were not let into the courtroom, but able to watch proceedings on CCTV from a special media room nearby, although the feed was cut almost as soon as the sentence was pronounced.

Navalny’s team said the judge had added 19 years to his existing terms. State prosecutors had asked for 20.

‘Unacceptable’

The European Union condemned a Russian court sentencing jailed opposition leader said, “The latest verdict in yet another sham trial against Navalny is unacceptable. This arbitrary conviction is the response to his courage to speak critically against the Kremlin’s regime,” European Council President Charles Michel posted online.

The United States calling it “an unjust conclusion to an unjust trial.” “The United States condemns a Russian court’s further sentencing and conviction of opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner Navalny,” the US State Department said.

Published in Dawn, Aug 5th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...
Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...