Canada Russia judges again, for defamation, the opponent Alexeï Navalny
Andrei Kolesnikov: "Navalny is not Yeltsin"
© Provided by Le Point P rs of 3,500 demonstrators were arrested on Saturday January 23 in Russia, during rallies in support of the opponent Alexeï Navalny who have taken place in dozens of cities, from Moscow to Vladivostok, on an unprecedented scale in recent years. Anti-corruption activist, Navalny, 44, was arrested on January 17 on his return from Germany, where he was hospitalized following an attempted poisoning with chemical weapons attributed to the Russian services.
RUSSIA-POLITICAL-NAVALNY: Russia judges again, for defamation, the opponent Alexeï Navalny
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Navalny appears again in Russian court on Friday on defamation charges, despite calls from Western powers for the release of the opponent imprisoned in connection with a separate case and while the head of European diplomacy is expected in Moscow.
Fervent critic of President Vladimir Putin, Alexeï Navalny was sentenced this week to three and a half years in prison for violating the terms of his parole in a case of embezzlement for which he was convicted in 2014.
Kremlin digs into 'toolkit of intimidation' to try to suppress Navalny supporters
The Putin government is going after jailed anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny every way it can, using the full arsenal of its police, judiciary and propaganda outlets to vilify him ahead of more anti-government protests set for this weekend.So, instead, the Russian opposition leader used his appearance Thursday via video conference to go over the heads of his jailers — and the Putin government — to send a message of encouragement to his supporters ahead of rallies his team has called for Sunday.
Several Western countries quickly denounced this conviction and called for the release of the opponent. French President Emmanuel Macron called the verdict "unacceptable".
Alexei Navalny is due to appear at 07:00 GMT on defamation charges against a WWII veteran who took part in a video promoting the constitutional review presented by Vladimir Putin last year - a reform paving the way for Putin in power until 2036.
Video: Washington calls on Moscow to release Navalny "immediately and unconditionally" (AFP)
Navalny described the participants in this video as unconscious traitors video.
While the charges against Alexei Navalny are punishable by up to two years' imprisonment under the terms of a new law, the opponent's lawyers believe that their client cannot be sentenced to prison because the alleged crime predates this law.
Last year Alexei Navalny said the affair was part of a relentless effort to silence his criticism of the Kremlin.
The hearing takes place on the day when the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, is due to meet in Moscow with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Ahead of the visit, the Kremlin said it wanted dialogue with Brussels restored to discuss what Moscow describes as numerous disagreements.
(Tom Balmforth and Anton Zverev; French version Jean Terzian)
Germany, Sweden and Poland retaliate against Russia and expel diplomats .
© Copyright 2021, L'Obs Diplomatic relations between Europe and Russia become even more strained . Germany, Sweden and Poland hit back on Monday (February 8) by expelling Russian diplomats in retaliation against a similar measure targeting diplomats accused of demonstrating in favor of opponent Alexei Navalny.