Putin Foe Navalny Sentenced to Nearly Three Years in Prison
From within a glass enclosure, Russian political dissident Alexei Navalny smiled and made heart gestures to his wife not long before a judge on Tuesday sentenced him to two years and eight months in a penal colony.
Navalny was arrested in a Moscow airport on January 17 after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering since the summer from a poison attack linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Because of his time abroad, officials say that Navalny was in violation of his probation for a 2014 fraud conviction, which supporters claim was orchestrated to prevent him from running for office.
In court, Navalny argued that because he had arrived in Germany while comatose and was only there for the duration of his rehabilitation, he did not violate the conditions of his parole.
“I contacted my lawyer to send you a notice,” he said. “You had the address, my contact details. What else could I have done to inform you?”
The judge disagreed and ordered him to serve two years and eight months in prison, deducting time he had already served under house arrest from his original sentence of three and a half years.
Today, Navalny was again hauled before a judge, this time for allegedly libeling a World War II veteran who took part in a video supporting a reform that would allow President Vladimir Putin to serve two more terms in office. Navalny had previously described the participants in the video as traitors.
Navalny began his political career in 2008 investigating government corruption. His videos, which have gotten millions of views, often tar
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