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Navalny on a screen during the appeal process: punishment comes into force as expected



The decision comes as no surprise: a Russian appeals court has upheld the sentencing of opposition politician Alexei Navalny to 19 years in prison for alleged extremism. This means that the draconian punishment comes into force, which, according to his lawyers, is intended to keep the country's best-known dissident behind bars until 2038. From the verdict from the beginning of August, the Court of Appeal only deleted the passage according to which Navalny was a "particularly dangerous repeat offender". This was reported by the Interfax agency on Tuesday in Moscow. The change has no legal effect.

The Russian judiciary has convicted Navalny of allegedly founding and financing an extremist organization. This refers to his foundation, which researched and made public cases of corruption among the Russian elite.

Abroad, Navalny is seen as a political prisoner. The critic of President Vladimir Putin has already been imprisoned in Russia since 2021 for alleged fraud. He had said in August about the new sentence that it meant life imprisonment – until he either died or Putin's power expired.

Numerous other convictions

The Kremlin critic is already serving sentences totaling eleven and a half years in a penal colony. Navalny was arrested in January 2021 after returning to Russia. In August 2020, he had collapsed on an intra-Russian flight. He was first treated in Russia, then transferred to the Charité hospital in Berlin. There, poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok was detected.

The government in Moscow has denied allegations that Russian authorities tried to kill him. However, research by SPIEGEL, Bellingcat and other partners showed that at least eight agents of the Russian secret service FSB were apparently involved in the poisoning of Navalny.