Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny again in court docket for slander trial
© Reuters. Law enforcement officers stand guard before a hearing to consider the case against Russian opposition leader Navalny in Moscow
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to court on Tuesday for a trial on slander changes he calls politically motivated.
Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic, was jailed this month for almost three years for parole violations he said were trumped up. The West has condemned the case and is discussing possible sanctions on Russia.
In the slander case, Navalny stands accused of defaming a World War Two veteran who took part in a promotional video backing constitutional reforms last year that let Putin run for two more terms in the Kremlin after 2024 if he wants.
Navalny described the people in the video as traitors and corrupt lackeys. He accuses authorities of using the slander charges to smear his reputation.
Veterans of what Moscow calls the Great Patriotic War are revered by most Russians and criticism of them is regarded as socially unacceptable and insulting.
State prosecutors were expected later on Tuesday to tell the court what punishment they are seeking for Navalny, state media reported.
Although the slander charge, if proven, is punishable by up to two years in jail, his lawyer has said that Navalny cannot face a custodial sentence in this instance because the alleged crime was committed before the law was changed to make it a jailable offence.
It remains unclear whether the judge in the case agrees with that analysis.
Lesser punishments include a fine or community service.
Navalny’s arrest and jailing sparked nationwide street protests in Russia, but his allies say they have paused serious demonstrations until the spring.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.