Navalny — Legal Troubles Continue to Mount

  • At present, Mr. Navalny was given a 2.5-year prison term.
  • Navalny was in court on February 5th.
  • Navalny allegedly defamed a Russian war hero.

The pseudo-politician and convict, Alexei Navalny, was transported to the Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow on Friday. The hearing was regarding the case of Navalny defaming a Russian war hero and veteran. It should be noted that Mr. Navalny never served in the Russian military.

Alexei Navalny is a Russian politician and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations, and running for office, to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his government. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal described him as “the man Vladimir Putin fears most.”

Yet, in Russia, it is mandatory for a healthy Russian male to serve in the army for the duration of one year.

The irony is that Navalny’s father was high up in the Soviet Ministry of Defense. Hence, the question ponders, how low could an individual go? The false statements were made by Mr. Navalny awhile back, it was not fabricated by the Russian government.

In addition, Mr. Navalny debated Neo-nazis in Russia, including Maxim Martsinkevich, better known as “Tesak,” who died under suspicious circumstances in a Russian prison last year. His family believes he was murdered in jail.

At present, Mr. Navalny was given a 2.5-year prison term. The case stems from the circumstances surrounding fraudulent activities, while being under contract with the Yves Rocher brand.

Mr. Navalny and his brother owned a company dealing with logistics. During the operation, they allegedly falsified and inflated the costs of shipping, resulting in large losses for Yves Rocher.

Mr. Navalny was personally delivered to the courthouse to participate in the meeting according to the court spokeswoman, Alexandra Savelyeva. Currently, Mr. Navalny is in the pre-trial detention center.

Soon, Mr. Navalny will be transferred to prison to serve his sentence. Additionally, there is a new case against Mr. Navalny in relation to fraud.

Maxim Martsinkevich, better known as Tesak (Russian for Cleaver, Hatchet, Hand Axe, Machete), was a Russian neo-Nazi activist, media personality, vlogger, and the leader and co-founder of the Restruct movement which manifested in post-Soviet countries. On 16 September 2020, Martsinkevich was found dead in a pre-trial detention centre in the Chelyabinsk region, reportedly from taking his own life.

Therefore, it is highly likely there would be another trial in the near future, and Mr. Navalny could be convicted. Hence, in that case, if he is not allowed to serve sentences concurrently, he might not get out of prison in time for the Russian presidential election in 2024.

Furthermore, the case that was heard on February 5th started last summer. The defamation case is based on Mr. Navalny interviewing a war veteran. He filmed a video, and without the permission of the veteran, Ignat Artemenko, used him in his video and depicted his image with the commentary of the “team of the corrupt lackeys” and  the “disgrace to the country and traitor.”

The veteran and his son complained to the Russian government. Therefore, the indictment of Mr. Navalny was done at the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office, part 2 of Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code (“Slander”). In the release, the agency indicated that the sanction of the article provides for mandatory labor.

In December 2020, President Vladimir Putin signed a law toughening the criminal penalty under part 2 of the article on libel. Now, the maximum sentence is up to two years in prison. However, Mr. Navalny’s defense lawyer does not believe it is a crime, even though the Russian law is very clear.

At the time the crime was committed, the maximum sentence was just a fine. Mr. Navalny’s legal troubles are not over.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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