Alexei Navalny looks thinner than ever as he appears in court to deny ‘absurd’ charges of ‘extremism’ that could keep him in a Russian prison for life.
- Navalny, who was arrested in 2021, appeared in court dressed in prison clothes
- Media and ex-lawyer’s family forced to follow proceedings remotely
- Jailed Russian opposition leader, 47, is an archenemy of Vladimir Putin
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appeared in court looking thinner than ever on charges that could keep him behind bars for decades.
The retrial is taking place at a maximum-security prison in Melekhovo, 150 miles east of Moscow, where Navalny is serving a nine-year sentence for fraud and contempt of court.
The imprisoned Russian opposition leader and archenemy of Vladimir Putin exposed official corruption and organized major protests against the Kremlin.
The 47-year-old man was arrested in January 2021 as he was returning to Moscow after recovering in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.
Navalny has said the new extremism charges, which he rejected as “absurd”, could keep him in prison for another 30 years.
Alexei Navalny appears this Monday before a court on charges that he has described as ‘absurd’
He said an investigator told him he would also face a separate trial in a military court on terrorism charges that could carry a life sentence.
The new trial, which began on Monday, comes as Russian authorities are carrying out a sweeping crackdown on dissent amid fighting in Ukraine, which Navalny has criticized.
The Moscow City Court, which opened the hearing at Navalny’s IK-6 prison, did not allow the media into the courtroom, and members of the press were forced to watch the proceedings via live broadcast. video from a separate building.
Navalny’s parents were also denied access to the courtroom and followed the hearing remotely.
Navalny’s parents, and the media, were forced to follow the legal proceedings remotely
Navalny, dressed in his prison clothes, looked haggard but spoke emphatically and gesticulated vigorously as the trial unfolded.
The new charges against him relate to the activities of his anti-corruption foundation and the statements of his main associates.
His allies said the charges retroactively criminalize all activities of the 47-year-old’s foundation since its inception in 2011.
Navalny, an archenemy of Vladimir Putin, above, claims that the Russian authorities are failing to provide him with adequate medical care and has expressed concern for his health.
One of Navalny’s associates, Daniel Kholodny, was transferred from a different prison to stand trial alongside him.
During his incarceration, Navalny has spent months in a one-man cell, also called a “punishment cell,” for alleged disciplinary violations, such as an alleged failure to button his prison gown properly, properly introduce himself to a guard, or wash his face. at a specified time.
His associates and supporters accused the prison authorities of failing to provide him with adequate medical care and expressed concern about his failing health.
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