Russia Escalates Campaign Against Alexei Navalny, Opens New Criminal Case
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is serving two-and-a-half years in prison, might spend another decade in jail.
On Tuesday, 28 September, new criminal proceedings were initiated against Russian President Vladimir Putin's strongest critic Alexei Navalny by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, that could force Navalny to spend 10 more years in prison, Reuters reported.
The fresh case accuses Navalny of being the founder and leader of an extremist group.
This particular crime carries a prison sentence of 10 years.
The statement by the Investigative Committee also said that a number of Navalny's associates were part of the same extremist group that carries out illegal activities "aimed at discrediting state authorities and their policies," the Reuters report added.
Additionally, the statement accused Navalny and his allies of "destabilising the situation in the regions and creating a protest mood among the population."
Navalny, for the purposes of medical treatment, had been sent to Germany in 2020 after falling victim to a poison attack in Siberia.
Analysts in Western Europe claimed that Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, had been used in the attack.
Navalny, after regaining consciousness, accused Putin of being behind the assassination attempt.
The Kremlin had vehemently rejected this claim.
Navalny is presently in jail for allegedly violating his parole, charges that he says were fabricated to prevent him from continuously launching political attacks on Putin.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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