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Iran Press TV

Russian prosecutors demand fine against Navalny in slander trial

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 11:25 AM

Russian state prosecutors have demanded that opposition figure Alexei Navalny be fined for defaming a World War II veteran.

The prosecutors asked the Babushkinsky District Court in Moscow to fine Navalny 950,000 roubles (12,962 dollars) during the third day of the slander trial on Tuesday.

In a tweet he wrote in June, Navalny described the people who appeared in a promotional video backing constitutional reforms last year, including 94-year-old World War II veteran Ignat Artemenko, as "traitors."

"Oh, here they are, darlings. I must admit that the team of corrupt lackeys looks rather weak. Look at them: this is the shame of the country. People without a conscience. Traitors," he wrote.

Russia's Investigative Committee has said the remarks contained "deliberately false information discrediting the honor and dignity" of the veteran.

Navalny is already serving a prison sentence after the Moscow City Court sentenced him on February 2 to two years and eight months for breaking the terms of his suspended sentence, subtracting the 10 months he had spent under house arrest from his original three-and-a-half-year sentence.

Navalny received the prison term over a theft case dating back to 2014.

His five-year probation period expired on January 2 while he was in Germany.

Navalny was airlifted to Berlin for treatment for alleged poisoning, shortly after he collapsed during a domestic Russian flight in August last year. His aides said he had been targeted with a Soviet-era nerve agent, blaming Moscow. Germany later said it had confirmed poisoning but refused to provide any evidence, even at the request of the Russian government.

Moscow has denied involvement in any attack on Navalny.

Last December, Russia's prison service urged Navalny to return from Germany and abide by the terms of the suspended prison sentence, noting that he had been discharged from the hospital in Berlin on September 20 and that his alleged symptoms had disappeared by October 12.

The Russian opposition figure returned to Russia on January 17, and was detained on arrival.

Since then, Navalny has been calling on Russians to rally against the government of President Vladimir Putin.

The EU has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions on Russia over the Navalny case.

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