World

Putin critic Navalny loses appeal against extra 19-year jail sentence

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has lost his appeal against a 19-year sentence added to his existing jail term.

It was imposed in August after he was convicted on six charges related to alleged extremist activity – which he denied.

The appeal was rejected by a judge in Moscow, with Mr Navalny – wearing a black prison uniform – joining by video link from prison.

Media were not allowed to witness proceedings apart from the reading of the verdict.

The 19-year sentence was imposed on top of 11 and a half years he was already serving after being convicted of fraud and other charges.

Mr Navalny has said the all the charges against him are politically motivated and an attempt to silence his criticism of President Putin’s repressive regime and the war in Ukraine.

His political movement has been outlawed and declared “extremist”, with its main players either being jailed or fleeing Russia.

More on Alexei Navalny

President Putin makes a point of never referring to Mr Navalny by name as part of an attempt by authorities to portray him as irrelevant.

Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny jailed for a further 19 years over 'extremism'
Image:
Mr Navalny pictured on a video feed at his sentencing in August

The 47-year-old returned to the country voluntarily in 2021 after nearly dying when he was poisoned with a nerve agent in a suspected Russia plot.

He was immediately arrested when he landed in Russia and is imprisoned in Melekhovo, about 145 miles (235 km) east of Moscow.

Read more:
Who is the man some hope will overthrow Putin?

Mr Navalny said in the summer he had been forced to listen to same speech by President Putin for more than 100 days in a row.

A TV technician who worked for Mr Navalny, sentenced at the same trial in August, also had his appeal against an eight-year sentence rejected on Tuesday.

Daniel Kholodny shouted “Alexei, see you!” just before the video fed of the hearing ended, with Mr Navalny waving his hand in response.

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