Russian opposition politician Navalny found guilty in major fraud case

Prosecutors sought 13 years in prison and $10,000 penalty for Navalny on charges of large-scale fraud and contempt of court.

Russian opposition politician Navalny found guilty in major fraud case

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny on Monday was found guilty in a major fraud case.

The verdict was delivered in the town of Pokrov, east of the capital Moscow, where Navalny, 45, is already serving out a sentence in a prison camp for violating his parole.

The prosecution sought a 13-year sentence for Navalny plus a penalty of 1.2 million rubles (about $10,000) for the charges, which include contempt of court, while the defense insisted on Navalny's innocence and pressed for acquittal.

Navalny was convicted over organizing a “criminal organization” together with his companions Leonid Volkov and Roman Rubanov to raise funds for Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation.

According to investigators, instead of financing the foundation, Navalny spent money on “extremism” and his personal needs.

In total, Navalny allegedly stole over 2.6 million rubles (about $22,000) from four individuals, who later filed a lawsuit against Navalny and others.

Navalny also reportedly insulted prosecutor Ekaterina Frolova, who supported an accusation against him at the trial for defaming a World War II veteran and his grandson.

For his current prison term, Navalny was arrested in January 2021 after a hospital stay in Germany, where he was treated for poisoning. Western countries and Navalny himself blamed Russia for the poisoning, a charge the Kremlin denies.

Hüseyin Demir

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