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  • a court in Moscow has found Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny guilty of defamation.

  • Earlier today, another court rejected Navalny's appeal against a jail sentence in a separate case, but it did reduce his sentence slightly.

  • Taking into account time already served under house arrest, Navalny now must spend around 2.5 years behind bars for violating parole.

  • The Kremlin critic was unable to meet his parole officers because he was in a German hospital receiving life saving treatment after being poisoned with a military grade nerve agent.

  • And D W correspondent Emily Sherwin has followed the court cases and joins us today from Moscow.

  • Emily, You watched proceedings.

  • So what were the highlights?

  • Well, Alexi Navalny went in today into today's double bill of court cases with a good, um, dose of humor and cynicism.

  • I think hey was joking all day.

  • Hey was smiling.

  • He even joked with the journalists watching the case and waiting for the verdict that he had, um, actually pickled cucumbers in his prison cell in a plastic bag.

  • He also very much used today's court cases, where the verdicts in some senses in some sense were no real surprise as a platform to address his supporters, uh, to address the public and to address, um, uh, international viewers and readers as well.

  • Um, he used his to closing statements to say that he didn't regret coming back to Russia.

  • He humorously quoted both Harry Potter and the Bible to say that he didn't feel alone and that he urges his supporters not to feel alone as well.

  • And he also talked about his vision for the future of Russia.

  • Ah, future in which, as he said, truth and justice matter and Russia could be free.

  • And Emily, what reactions have there been to the verdicts, including, perhaps in the Kremlin aligned media?

  • Well, I think the verdicts came as no surprise, and Alexey Navalny's allies came out after that first verdict.

  • The rejected appeal, saying that it's a disgrace and, uh, saying that it shows that there is no rule of law in Russia after all.

  • Um, the first case that he is now going to be behind bars over has been ruled by the European Court of Human Rights to be arbitrary and unreasonable.

  • That's the ruling from 2000 and 17, and before this court hearing today, the European Court of Human Rights also called for his release, which the Ministry of Justice rejected outright as an attempt by Europe to meddle in Russia's affairs.

  • And is it your feeling that this will help or hinder the Russian opposition?

  • Uh, well, it's hard to know.

  • I think on the one hand, the fact that Alexi Navalny is behind bars now comes as no surprise to the opposition here.

  • It was pretty clear that he would be arrested even before he returned to Russia.

  • What is interesting to think about these two court cases and the last few months with the protests with his with Alexi Navalny is returned as well.

  • Is they really have meant that state media here in the country can no longer ignore Aleksei Navalny as a figure?

  • Um, they've been presenting him, including with this trialing over the defamation of a veteran as unpatriotic Azan, agent of the West.

  • Whereas before they essentially ignored him, um ignored opposition protests as well.

  • And I think now the opposition faces a really tough task.

  • There are Duma elections in September.

  • Alexey Navalny's allies have been advocating the strategy of smart voting where they want people to vote for the strongest candidate who's standing against Putin's united Russia.

  • But they've been facing, Ah, huge crackdown.

  • Uh, not only with the arrest of Alexi Navalny, but with police searches and also at activists houses and so on.

  • Eso.

  • We'll have to see how successful that campaign ahead of those elections could be for them.

  • Okay, D.

  • W's Emily Sherwin in Moscow.

  • Thanks for that.

a court in Moscow has found Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny guilty of defamation.

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Russian courts find opposition leader Navalny guilty twice in one day | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/21
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