Alexei Navalny has been ordered to yet another two-week stint in a punishment cell before the announcement of his sentence in the “extremist case.” The opposition politician was assigned another 13 days of arrest for violating the prison’s rules of introduction, as reported by his lawyer Vadim Kobzev on Twitter. The news was confirmed by media outlet SOTAVison, which covered the courtroom proceedings in Kovrov, where one of the politician's complaints was under review.
On July 20, state prosecutors demanded a 20-year imprisonment for Navalny in a high-security correctional facility in relation to the “extremist case.” His co-defendant, Daniel Kholodny, is facing a 10-year sentence in a minimum security penal colony.
As of now, Navalny is already serving an 11.5-year prison sentence for fraud and other charges in a maximum security penal colony in Melekhovo, 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of Moscow. Consequently, the trial for the significant “extremist case” is taking place in a courtroom at Penal Colony No. 6 in Vladimir.
Navalny is facing charges under six articles of Russia's Criminal Code: incitement to extremism, creation of an NGO violating citizens' rights, financing extremism, forming an extremist community, involving minors in dangerous activities, and rehabilitation of Nazism.
The verdict in the “extremist case” is set to be announced on August 4 at 16.00 Moscow time.
Before his January 2021 arrest, Navalny exposed official corruption and led major anti-Kremlin protests. After recovering from nerve agent poisoning in Germany, executed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), he returned to Moscow, and was arrested by police officers at passport control at Sheremetyevo Airport.
A joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider and CNN, with contributions from Der Spiegel, published in December 2020, revealed the names and ranks of the FSB officers responsible for poisoning Alexei Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.
After the release of the investigation, Navalny called Konstantin Kudryavtsev, one of the FSB officers mentioned in the report, introducing himself as Assistant to Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. In the conversation that followed, Kudryavtsev gave details of Navalny's poisoning.