Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny faces a 10-year prison sentence in a new trial. A Kremlin critic has been accused of embezzling more than 4 million euros from his anti-corruption foundation. It was banned last year, like other organizations of the Navalny detainee.
Navalny, 45, also has to account for a suspicion of contempt of a judge during an earlier hearing, for which he could receive an additional six months in prison.
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, who is visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in the context of the Ukraine crisis, spoke out against Navalny’s conviction. My position on Navalny is very clear. “His conviction is not in line with the principles of the rule of law,” Schultz said after the joint press conference.
The new trial against the opponent is taking place in the criminal camp where Navalny was imprisoned for more than a year for violating his parole in an old corruption case. The opposition leader should have turned himself in to the authorities while he was being treated in Germany for a poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He still had to spend a year and a half of what he believed to be politically motivated rule in the penal colony of Pokrov, 100 kilometers east of Moscow.
Russia put Navalny on its list of “terrorists and extremists” last month. Previously, opponent organizations were also classified as “extremist”. As a result, legal proceedings have been initiated against many of his foundation’s anti-corruption activists, some of whom are now living in exile.