26 Sep 2023 20:11

Appeals court upholds Navalny's 19-year prison sentence for extremism

MOSCOW. Sept 26 (Interfax) - The first general-jurisdiction appellate court has dismissed the appeals filed by Alexei Navalny's defense team against his conviction for extremism, according to which he is to serve a 19-year sentence at a maximum-security facility, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"As for the rest, the Moscow City Court ruling of August 4, 2023, remains unaltered [and] the appeals rejected," the court's ruling said.

At the same time, the court made some changes to the sentence by dropping the "highly dangerous recidivist" reference from its rationale. However, this change has no legal effects.

With the appeals court ruling, the 19-year sentence, which has now come into force, will expire on December 2, 2038, the defense lawyers said.

Navalny will be transferred to the prison in the near future.

On August 4, the Moscow City Court sentenced Navalny to a total of 19 years' imprisonment, including his previous prison term. A maximum-security facility was prescribed on account of him being a highly dangerous recidivist.

Navalny was also ordered to pay a 500,000-ruble fine and given three years of restrictions after release.

In addition, Navalny was banned for four years from "engaging in activities related to posting messages and other material on information and communications networks for public use, including the Internet."

A co-defendant, Daniel Kholodny, the technical director of Navalny's YouTube project, has been sentenced to eight years' imprisonment at a medium-security facility, a four-year ban from posting online messages, and one year of restricted freedom.

Navalny was found guilty of creating an extremist group, financing extremism, publicly calling for extremism including on the Internet, rehabilitating Nazism, engaging minors to commit life-threatening acts, and of creating a nonprofit organization encroaching on citizens' rights.

At the same time, because the statute of limitations has expired, Navalny received no penalty for one count of publicly calling for extremism, rehabilitating Nazism, engaging minors to commit life-threatening acts, and creating a nonprofit organization encroaching on citizens' rights.

Kholodny was found guilty of funding extremism and of membership of an extremist group.

The trial at the Moscow City Court was closed to the public. The case was heard at high-security facility No. 6 in Melekhovo village, Vladimir region, where Navalny is serving his current prison term.

The criminal case focuses in particular on Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which in 2021 was declared an extremist organization at the request of prosecutors and banned from operating in Russia.

In 2022, Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court sentenced Navalny to nine years' imprisonment at a high-security facility and a 1.2-million-ruble fine for major fraud and contempt of court.

By that time Navalny was already serving a 3.5-year sentence imposed in 2014 by Moscow's Zamoskvorestky District Court in the so-called Yves Rocher case.

Navalny denied all charges.