The court sends Navalny to prison for two and a half years
(CNN) – A Moscow court sentenced Alexei Navalny to two and a half years in prison on Tuesday, in a heated hearing during which the opponent ridiculed allegations that he violated his probation conditions while in a coma and denounced the Russian president as “a toxic Putin.” .
The decision is likely to anger Navalny’s supporters, as tens of thousands of Russians have protested over the past two weeks, and many have demanded the activist’s release.
Navalny was arrested two weeks ago on his return from Berlin to Moscow, on charges of failing to fulfill his conditions under probation under a 2014 suspended sentence for embezzlement, a case that was dismissed for political reasons.
Navalny received a suspended sentence of three and a half years in prison in the 2014 case along with five years of probation. On Tuesday, the court ruled that he had violated the terms of probation and ordered that the suspended prison sentence be replaced by a prison sentence. The judge took into account the 11 months that Navalny spent under house arrest as part of the case.
Navalny, who was always a stone in Putin’s shoes, spent five months in Germany recovering from Novichuk poisoning before returning to Moscow on January 17. He blamed the attack on Russia’s security services and on Putin himself, accusations the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.
In court, Navalny demanded to know how he could better inform authorities of his whereabouts when he was in a coma.
“Can you explain to me how I was supposed to comply with the conditions of monitoring and reporting my location?” He said from the glass case in the courtroom.