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Alexei Navalny faces thirty years in prison in a new trial


The judicial institution had only a modest grievance against Alexei Navalny when he returned to Russia in January 2021: a violation of his judicial control during his convalescence abroad, himself following a poisoning suffered in August 2020. The case had been enough to send him to prison for two and a half years. Another sentence, to nine years, had followed, for supposed defrauding of his supporters.

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The opponent now faces a thirty-year sentence. A new trial against him opened on Tuesday, June 6, inside Melekhovo prison, in the Vladimir region, where he is being held. This displacement of the court is an extremely rare procedure, usually reserved for seriously ill detainees. It has, in any case, made it possible to exclude the few journalists who wished to attend this hearing. Alexeï Navalny himself had only ten days to read the 196 volumes of the file. Result: this last case is the most poorly known of all those for which the opponent is accused by Russian justice.

Seven charges are brought against him, mainly related to the constitution of a “extremist organization” (funding, public appeals, etc.), namely the Anti-Corruption Fund, which has carried out numerous investigations into the prevarication of the Putin regime. It is also a question of “Rehabilitation of Nazism”. At the end of 2022, the investigators also warned the opponent that an investigation for “terrorism” was in progress, but, for the time being, without details.

Sent sixteen times to the mitard

Among other incongruities of the case, the justice criticizes Alexeï Navalny for remarks made by others – for example, a “public call to extremism” launched by a participant in a protest against corruption in 2017. The “Rehabilitation of Nazism”she is based, among other things, on a comment by one of her lieutenants, Leonid Volkov, simply for having mentioned, in a video, Adolf Hitler and the attempted assassination of the Nazi leader by Colonel Stauffenberg.

The condemnation of Mr. Navalny is beyond doubt, as the Russian power shows relentlessness towards him. In the three years he has been in prison, the politician has been sent to prison sixteen times (for a total of one hundred and sixty days), in extremely harsh conditions and for spurious reasons.

The prison administration uses still other means to break it: the installation in its cell of prisoners with an unbearable smell or crazy, who spend their day screaming or barking. Mr. Navalny also recently mentioned a re-education program which includes the broadcasting, five times a day, of videos or songs, one of which is openly anti-Semitic: “If in the Kremlin we celebrate Purim [une fête juive], the Third Rome is in danger…”

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