Update! Navalny Tossed in the Gulag for 3.5 years.
A few excerpts from the farce going on in the Kremlin run court.
8:22 p.m. Navalny Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Penal Colony. The 10 months Navalny already served under house arrest as part of the first trial will count against that time, meaning he will be imprisoned for a further two years and eight months.
The judge ruled that Navalny was in violation of the terms of his parole — which required him to appear in person with a probationary officer twice a month — after he was discharged from Berlin’s Charite hospital September, where he was being treated for Novichok poisoning.
2:00 p.m.: After reading out documents for about a half hour, the judge announces a two-hour break for lunch. “Can you send someone to McDonald’s?” Navalny asks.
1:57 p.m.: The court confirms to Interfax that diplomats from the Czech Republic, Austria, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Latvia and Poland are present at the hearing as well as EU representatives.
1:27 p.m.: At least 237 people have been detained outside the Moscow City Court so far, the OVD-Info police monitor reports.
1:00 p.m.: Navalny questions the FSIN official: “Comrade captain, do you respect the Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin?” … “You said you don’t know where I’ve been since August. Putin said on television that thanks to him I’d been sent to Germany for treatment.”
“I was in a coma, then I was in the ICU,” he continues. “I sent you medical documents; you had my address and contacts. What else could I have done to tell you where I am? I have a lawyer and my lawyer has a telephone… how could I have informed you better?”
The FSIN representative responds that Navalny “needed to provide documents and explain the serious reasons for not showing up to inspections.”
“I was in a coma!” Navalny says.
12:49 p.m.: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova writes that the presence of foreign diplomats at Navalny’s hearing “isn’t just meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, but the self-incrimination of the west’s unsightly and illegal attempts to contain Russia.” She accuses the diplomats of being “an attempt at psychological pressure on the judge.”
12:45 p.m.: The Kremlin says Putin is not following today’s hearing, adding that it hopes Navalny’s fate would not affect Russia’s ties with Europe.
“We hope that such nonsense as linking the prospects of Russia-EU relations with the resident of a detention center will not happen,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, days ahead of a visit to Moscow by the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.
(c) The Moscow Times