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Russian court finds Alexei Navalny guilty on fraud charges

A Russian court found opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny guilty on fraud charges Tuesday.

Last week, Russian prosecutors demanded 13 years in a maximum-security facility for Navalny — a long-time outspoken opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin — who is already serving time behind bars.

On Tuesday, Judge Margarita Kotova said the court found that Navalny “had committed fraud, the theft of property of others by an organized group,” according to AFP.

Navalny gave a statement to the court from the prison colony where he’s currently detained. He denounced the terms of his trial and, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said “to fight this war is everyone’s duty.”

Prosecutors have also asked the court to impose a 1.2 million ruble (around €10,000) fine on Navalny.

Navalny was originally arrested on his arrival back to Russia in January 2021 after being treated in Germany following a suspected Kremlin-sanctioned poisoning (the government has denied involvement in the poisoning). Russian authorities then slapped Navalny with a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for what they said were parole violations.

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