1/20 Tomorrow Alexei Navalny, the leader of the Russian opposition, will be sentenced. The prosecutor's office asked for 13 years of imprisonment. Below is a thread about how Alexei’s trial went and what he is accused of. Please share.
2/20 You all know that there are no independent courts in Russia, but when they say “court”, you still probably imagine a solemn hall, a tribune and a judge with a gavel. Well, there is none of this in Alexei’s case. All 13 hearings took place right in his penal colony.
3/20 Formally, this was done under the pretext of fighting COVID, but in fact, it was to classify the process. No one can enter the colony. Even journalists are not allowed into the room where Alexei is being tried - they follow the process through a TV screen in a separate room.
4/20 It is forbidden to bring gadgets into the colony, so phones and laptops are confiscated even from lawyers. This means that they cannot take photos of the case materials and notes, or make recordings. The judge, however, still uses her phone, but I’ll come back to that later.
5/20 Alexei is being accused of two charges. The first one is “contempt of court expressed in insulting the judge” during his previous trial. Yes, it’s a criminal offence in Russia.
6/20 The prosecution ordered an expert evaluation of Navalny’s words during that trial. The “expert” established that Alexei insulted the judge with such phrases as “Oh my God!”. “This case is fabricated” and “You’ve perverted the law”.
7/20 This “expert” works as a mathematics teacher. I wish I was kidding. During her interrogation in court, Alexei asked what was so offensive about his words “Oh my God.” She replied that it was not his words that were offensive, but the intonation with which he said them.
8/20 Alexei’s second charge is much larger in scale, but no less absurd. He is accused of fraud - according to the prosecution, Navalny spent the money that people donated to him and the ACF to fight corruption on ... extremism.
9/20 Here’s the trick. For 7 years, the ACF has existed legally, submitted reports to the Ministry of Justice and paid taxes. But in 2021, the court retroactively declared all our work extremist and donations to us illegal.
10/20 However, this was not enough to fabricate a fraud case. It was necessary to find the "victims" - specific people who would say in court that they donated money to Navalny to fight corruption, but he deceived them and spent it on illegal activity.
11/20 Over the 7 years of the ACF's existence, more than 300,000 donors have donated money to us. The Investigative Committee was only able to force four of them to testify against Navalny. But even with them, things didn’t go so smoothly.
12/20 Two of them have their own criminal cases initiated against them. The Investigative Committee threatened them into testifying against Navalny. Another one, a pensioner, was simply deceived. He dropped all his claims in court.
13/20 The fourth is a plumber who was charged with drug possession. He allegedly transferred $14,000 to the ACF, despite his monthly salary being about $500. He’s obviously a special dummy “victim” invented by the investigation to ensure that the case reaches the court.
14/20 The prosecution's case solely relies on the testimonies of these four “victims”, who were forced to testify through deceit or pressure. But to make it seem more solid, the investigators brought in a few more witnesses. Things didn’t go so smoothly with them either, though.
15/20 One of the witnesses, a former ACF employee, retracted his previous testimony, saying that the investigators had threatened him during interrogation. He has an audio recording confirming this. He called Navalny's activity legal, and Alexei himself - an honest person.
16/20 The case against Navalny is not just fabricated. It is supervised by the Presidential Administration. We have established that the judge constantly calls up with one of the employees of Putin’s administration - this is proved by phone billing data.
17/20 There is no doubt that the decision to arrest Navalny was made by Putin personally. At first he tried to kill Alexei, and when he failed, he decided to keep him in prison forever.
18/20 If Navalny is found guilty, he will become a “recidivist”. This will allow him to be transferred to a high-security colony with stricter conditions much further from Moscow. It will be practically impossible to access it and keep contact with Alexei.
19/20 Without public protection, Alexei will be face to face with those who have already tried to kill him. And nothing will stop them from trying again. Therefore, we are now talking not only about Alexei’s freedom, but also about his life.
20/20 While the attention of the whole world is riveted on Ukraine, another monstrous crime is being committed inside of Russia. And only publicity can somehow influence the outcome of this trial. Do not be silent, spread the word about this case.

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More from @Kira_Yarmysh

Nov 4, 2021
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