On February 15, the Lefortovo Court in Moscow will start hearing a new criminal case against Alexei Navalny. TASS reports that the opposition leader is charged with four counts of large-scale fraud and two counts of contempt of court.
The trial will begin in the Pokrovsky-2 penal colony, where Navalny has been serving his sentence for almost a year. Olga Mikhailova, the lawyer of a convicted politician, said that the decision to hold a field hearing was very unusual – in her practice, it had never happened before.
Criminal cases of fraud were initiated more than a year ago. The investigation believes that Navalny stole about 350 million rubles from donations to the Anti-Corruption Foundation (the organization was declared in Russia to be a foreign agent in 2019, and in 2021 – extremist). In addition, Navalny was accused of disrespecting the judge who considered the case of defamation of a World War II veteran.
In February 2021, the court changed the oppositionist’s suspended sentence to a real one in the “Yves Rocher” case – because of violations of the conditions of serving a suspended sentence. He will spend two years and eight months in the penal colony. In January 2022, Rosfinmonitoring added Navalny and some of his associates to the register of terrorists and extremists.