Russia’s justice declares Navalni’s organization “extremist” and outlaws it

  • With the judicial decision, Russia equates the NGO of the jailed blogger with the Islamic State or Al Qaeda

  • The court hearing at the Moscow Municipal Court lasted for hours until late at night

No one expected surprises, and there were none. The Moscow Municipal Court has accepted this Wednesday the demand presented by the Prosecutor’s Office to consider the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), el Fund for the Defense of Citizen Rights and the regional representative offices from the blogger Alekséi Navalni as groups “extremists“, a decision that automatically places these organizations out of the law. With this judicial resolution, Russia equates the NGO founded by the blogger jailed a decade ago with the aim of preventing the “theft of public money” with Islamic State O Al Qaeda.

Yevgueni Smirnov, one of the seven jurists of the so-called Group 29 that assumed this Wednesday the defense of FBK before the judge, affirms by telephone to EL PERIÓDICO that the case does not stand. “For the prosecutor’s office, it is not important to present legal arguments; the only objective is to close FBK, although there are no reasons, “he criticizes.” They have presented 30 volumes of 250 pages each one with absurd facts to build a case from scratch; not even they know what to do, “he continues. Although in the Russian legal system there is also the possibility of qualifying an organization as a” terrorist “, in practice both legal categories” are very similar “, concludes the jurist.

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Real marathon

The court hearing this Wednesday became a real marathon, which lasted well into the night despite the fact that the court closed its doors at 5:00 p.m. At around 8:00 p.m., the defense attorneys asked to take a break to take food and drink, a request that was denied by the magistrate, and that was answered with a demand for recusal by the defense. “It seems as if there was an order from above to end the process today,” the defense attorney wrote on Telegram Valerii Betoshkin.

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