Verdict looms as defamation case against Navalny enters 3rd day

Verdict looms as defamation case against Navalny enters 3rd day
Navalny

Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, could on Tuesday face a verdict in a trial he stands accused of insulting a World War II veteran who appeared in a montage praising a constitutional change.

Tuesday’s court session would be the third day of the trial; analysts had already expected a verdict earlier.

The issue is a video broadcast by state media in 2020 in which several people including the plaintiff spoke in favour of changes to the constitution.

These included many perks for Russians, but also changed the document to let President Vladimir Putin extend his time in power.

Navalny was charged after he tweeted a clip of the video, calling the people who appeared in it “traitors.’’

The veteran in question said he was so offended by Navalny’s comments that his health deteriorated, prompting him to press defamation charges.

Navalny, however, denied the accusations and said the case was politically motivated.

He also suggested that the 94-year-old veteran was mentally unable to follow the trial and is just a puppet in the proceedings.

If convicted, Navalny could face fines, compulsory labour or prison.

Navalny has already been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in a separate case, on charges of violating parole for a fraud conviction.

This was in spite of the fact that he could not report to parole officers because he had to be taken to Germany while comatose after an attack with a nerve agent, then stayed there to recuperate for several months.

The attack has widely been blamed on Russian agents.

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