Navalny’s Twitter account responded to the ruling with a quote from “The Wire” television series: “(Nine) years. Well, as the characters of my favorite TV series The Wire used to say: ‘You only do two days. That’s the day you go in and the day you come out.’ I even had a T-shirt with this slogan, but the prison authorities confiscated it, considering the print extremist.”

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of fraud and contempt of court and sentenced to nine years in a maximum security prison on Tuesday, in a trial Kremlin critics see as an attempt to keep President Vladimir Putin’s most ardent foe in prison for as long as possible, AP reports.

A judge also ruled that Navalny would have to pay a fine of 1.2 million rubles (about $11,500). Navalny can appeal the ruling.

Navalny, who is already serving 2½ years in a penal colony east of Moscow, had been accused of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised over the years and of insulting a judge during a previous trial.

The politician has rejected the allegations as politically motivated. The prosecution had asked for 13 years in a maximum security prison for the anti-corruption crusader and a 1.2 million-ruble fine.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Navalny is expected to serve this sentence concurrently with his current one or on top of it, and which maximum security facility he will be transferred to and when.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse