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Moscow Court Postpones Hearing Into Navalny's Appeal For Week

By RFE/RL's Russian Service May 17, 2022

MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has delayed a hearing into jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's appeal against his latest sentence.

The court started the hearing on May 17 but postponed it for one week after Navalny, who took part in the hearing via a video link from a prison in the Vladimir region, asked the court to give him time to get better acquainted with case documents. The next hearing will be held on May 24, the court said.

Navalny, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in March while he was already serving another prison term from a separate case, said he wanted to compare the texts of his verdict and sentence with what a court pronounced at his trial.

Navalny also said that his family members were scheduled to visit him on May 20, and he did not want to lose the visit, which is granted just a few times a year, as he may be transferred to another penal colony if his sentence is upheld.

A court handed down a new sentence against Navalny -- nine years in prison -- on March 22 after finding him guilty of embezzlement and contempt of court charges that he and his supporters have repeatedly rejected as politically motivated. That sentence is expected to come into force if the Moscow court rejects the appeal.

Navalny was arrested in January last year upon his arrival to Moscow from Germany, where he was treated for a poison attack with what European labs defined as a Soviet-style nerve agent. He was then handed a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for violating the terms of an earlier parole because of his convalescence abroad. The original conviction is widely regarded as a trumped-up, politically motivated case.

Navalny has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for his poisoning with a Novichok-style chemical substance. The Kremlin has denied any role in the attack.

International organizations consider Navalny a political prisoner. The European Union, U.S. President Joe Biden, and other international officials have demanded Russian authorities release the 45-year-old Kremlin-critic.

Navalny is currently serving his term in a penal colony in the town of Pokrov, some 200 kilometers east of Moscow.

With reporting by Mediazona

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/navalny-hearing- moscow-court-postpone/31854638.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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