Alexey Navalny handed new jail term as he denounces ‘Putin the poisoner’
The decision is likely to spark resentment among Navalny’s supporters, as tens of Russians turned out for protests in the past two weekends, many demanding the activist’s release.
Navalny was detained two weeks ago on his return to Berlin from Moscow, accused of failing to meet the terms of his parole under a 2014 suspended sentence for embezzlement – a case he described as politically motivated.
Navalny was sentenced to a suspended sentence of three and a half years with five years of probation in the 2014 case. The court ruled on Tuesday that it violated the terms of his probation and ordered to replace his suspended sentence with a jail term. The judge noted Navalni’s 11 months spent under house arrest as part of the case.
In court, Navalny demanded to know how he could have better told the authorities of his whereabouts during the comatose.
“Can you explain to me that I should fulfill the conditions of my probation and inform me where I am?” He told his glass enclosure in court.
A representative of the Prison Service responded as to why he had not provided documents to explain the serious reasons that prevented him from showing up for inspection.
“Coma?” Navalny shot back. “Why are you sitting here and telling the court that you don’t know where I was? I fell into a coma, then I was in the ICU, then in rehab. I contacted your lawyer to send you notice. Your Got to know., My contact details. What else could I do to inform you? “He said.
“The President of our country said that I was allowed to go to Germany for treatment and you did not even know?”
In a different outbreak, Navalny described Putin as “a man with little faith in his bunker”, who “doesn’t want me to set foot on the ground in Russia.”
“The reason for this is the hatred and fear of a person who is hidden in the bunker. I have offended him so deeply with the fact that I have survived,” Navalny alleged.
When a prosecutor tried to object, Navalny spoke back: “I don’t need your objections.”
“He can pretend he’s this big politician, world leader, but now my main crime is that he will go down in history as Putin’s poison. Alexander was the Liberator and Yaroslav the Wise, and Vladimir will be the underpants.” Poison, ”Navalny said.
“He is not engaging in geopolitics, he holds meetings to smear underwear with chemical weapons.”
Tuesday’s hearing opened under heavy security presence, with riot police securing the court building and closing the general area with police vehicles, trucks and vans. The surrounding roads were open but closed to pedestrians and protesters with barricades.
Before the hearing began, CNN reporters saw police detaining dozens of people outside the court.
Russian authorities had repeatedly threatened to send Navalny to prison if he returned to Russia from Germany. Navalny’s lawyers previously told CNN that they had little hope of his release, and criticized the Kremlin’s control of the country’s courts.
In his defense, he argued that the prison service was well aware of Navalni’s whereabouts as he received a notice from her in early December. His lawyers also showed a letter from the Charité Clinic in Berlin, showing that he was in rehab until he returned to Russia.
On Sunday, protesters from across the country were met with the most rigorous demonstration of the force in years by Russian security services. According to OVD-Info, a record independent monitoring group following the 2011 protests, more than 5,000 people were detained in at least 85 cities. Navalny led mass protests against Putin’s government in 2017-18.
“Yulia, they show you on TV and keep talking about your radical behavior. Such a bad girl, I’m proud of you,” Navalny said shortly before he began his trial.
Navalny’s colleagues have already called for another round of nationwide demonstrations over the weekend.
CNN’s Angela Dewan, Ana Chernova and Richard Ellen Green contributed to this report.