Status: 02/20/2021 6:57 p.m.
The same room, the same prosecutor: after all, Kremlin critic Navalny did not have to change much on the day of his two trials. The judgments are also foreseeable: a confirmed prison sentence and a fine.
By Stephan Laack, ARD Studio Moscow,
Alexej Navalny is not given a respite: After the appeal proceedings, in which the Moscow Babushkinsky Court essentially confirmed the prison sentence against the Kremlin critic and only mitigated it by a few weeks, the next trial continued.
During the short break between the negotiations, his lawyer Vadim Kobzew announced that the two and a half years’ imprisonment would be challenged before the court of cassation, a supreme instance. It could be that Navalny will soon be taken to a prison camp. “ The oretically, he can be brought to the penal colony before the next trial, you can do it today or tomorrow. But you may still wait for the appeal in the case of defamation. Here you have the whole range of options.”
With that, attorney Kobzew addressed the second trial of the day. The accusation there is: defamation of a World War II veteran. The Kremlin critic did not even have to change the courthouse and even had the same prosecutor again. Members of his staff commented sarcastically on Twitter: Navalny will soon have a personal judge and a personal police officer.
Navalny is again defeated in court
Ina Ruck, ARD Moscow, daily news 8 p.m., February 20, 2021
Defamation of veterans
In the end, the penalty was a little less than what the public prosecutor had asked for: the Kremlin critic has to pay the equivalent of around 9,500 euros. The judge saw it as proven that he had insulted the 94-year-old veteran, who had volunteered for a Kremlin-friendly TV spot, on Twitter as a “traitor” and “shame for the country”. In addition to ordinary citizens, celebrities also took part in the campaign. It is clear to Navalny that the Kremlin wants to portray him as a traitor to the fatherland.
“But what do you, your Putin and your ‘United Russia’ have to do with this war?” He asked. “If someone listens to you like that, one would like to believe that you yourself have been sitting in the protective ditch the whole time. You are taking advantage of all of this because you do not want to talk about reality.”
“You won’t let him go”
In his closing remarks in the appeal proceedings that morning Navalny quoted from the Bible: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice; for they should be satisfied,” said the Kremlin critic, who, like many observers, is firmly convinced that they are President Vladimir Putin wanted to take revenge on him through these trials. Not only did he survive the Novichok poison attack, but he also wanted to continue his political work in Russia. That is clearly too much.
Political scientist Leonid Gosmann, who is critical of the government, assumes that the Kremlin will keep constructing new cases in order to lock Navalny away: “Because it is absolutely obvious that Navalny will remain imprisoned as long as Putin is in power,” he says. “If Putin manages to stay in the Kremlin for two and a half years – that is the length of the camp detention Navalny was sentenced to – then Navalny will get a different sentence for something else: either treason or because he didn’t cross the street properly and so on. ” It doesn’t matter what for. “You’re not releasing him.”
Two processes for Navalny – daily summary
Stephan Laack, WDR, February 20, 2021 6:22 p.m.