Moscow court delays Navalny war veteran libel trial

Wed 20 Jan 2021 at 14:14 International

NNA - A Moscow court on Wednesday postponed the start of the trial of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on charges of defaming a World War II veteran, his lawyers said.

Olga Mikhailova, a lawyer for Navalny, told journalists the court pushed back the trial until February 5 because the opposition figure is currently in virus quarantine after returning from Germany on Sunday and being immediately put behind bars.

The court ruled that the "hearing has to take place with his participation", Mikhailova said, adding that Navalny's allies supported the decision.

Navalny was detained in a Moscow airport after returning for the first time since he was flown to Berlin in August following a poisoning attack.

The 44-year-old anti-graft campaigner is accused of violating probationary terms of his 2014 suspended sentence on fraud charges by not appearing at Russia's prison service for checks twice a month.

On Monday, a makeshift court at a police station ordered Navalny placed in custody until February 15. He was then moved to Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina detention centre, where he is spending his first 14 days in quarantine.—AFP





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