Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny found guilty on new fraud charges | News

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Jailed Russian opposition leader faces 13 additional years in prison on new embezzlement and contempt of court charges.

A Russian court has found jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny guilty on embezzlement and contempt of court charges that could see his prison sentence significantly extended.

“Navalny committed fraud – the theft of property by an organised group,” Judge Margarita Kotova said on Tuesday.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic critic, was jailed last year on old fraud charges after surviving an attempt to poison him with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, that he blames on the Kremlin.

Navalny was tried at the prison colony outside Moscow where he is already serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence, appearing in the makeshift court wearing his black prison uniform, with journalists watching via a video link.

He listened closely as judge Kotova read out the verdict, smiling at times, according to the AFP news agency.

Personal use

Investigators accused Navalny of stealing for personal use several million dollars worth of donations that were given to his political organisations.

The poisoning attempt on Navalny in 2020 and his arrest on his return from rehabilitation in Germany last year sparked widespread condemnation abroad, as well as sanctions from Western capitals.

After his arrest, Navalny’s political organisations across the country were declared “extremist” and shut down, while many key aides fled Russia fearing prosecution.

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