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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: February 2, 2017
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Kirovles Trial Re-Opens; Opposition Activist Navalny Defies Court Order to Remain in Kirov
5 years
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Opposition leader Alexey Navalny, head of the Anti-Corruption Fund which has exposed graft in the top Kremlin leadership and among major oligarchas, is on trial again.

His colleagues have a live feed:

Translation: Live feed from Kirovles [trial]. Questioning of Navalny.

Navalny has remained humorous about his predicament in yet another trial with yet another case, as have some commenters on social media. 

Here he makes a quip about a picture circulating everywhere on pro-government social media and state media showing Putin visiting a youth group in Tula. 

Translation: the slogan of the young Putinlets should be -- Be prepared for the battle for the cause of Rotenberg and Roldugin! Always prepared!

Arkady Rotenberg is Putin's childhood friend and an oligarch who often obtains lucrative state contracts. Roldugin is a cellist who has also been Putin's long-time friend who was exposed as having an offshore account in the Panama Papers.


Translation: For many years now, I start my day with morning coffee, a fresh newspaper and broadcast of the trial of Navalny.

At first the theory was that the Supreme Court was allowed to overturn Navalny's sentence because Putin had wanted to deploy him in the elections to give the semblance of democracy.

But that may have changed: 

Translation: Navalny says he will not sign the pledge and intends on Saturday to go to St. Petersburg for the opening of his election campaign office.

Navalny hopes to run in the 2018 presidential elections and his colleagues have already gathered 100,000 signatures. 


Meanwhile, the trial may result in his arrest. 

Translation: The court rejected Navalny's request to cross-examine the witnesses in the Kirovles trial.

The European Court of Human Rights had ruled in Navalny's favor. 

Translation: !!! The ECHR awarded Navalny 63,000 euros for unlawful detention.

From Twitter, where the topic of Navalny has been trending this morning in Moscow, we can see a certain amount of support for him, and also a lot of hateful comments have been directed at him from both organized troll accounts and people who may be genuine.  

And now that he is defying the law, although it is unjust, he may lose sympathizers in the intelligentsia who have become more cautious with the wave of political arrests, including 4 computer professionals in Kaspersky and the FSB charged with treason on behalf of the US.

Aleksey Venediktov is editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, the last independent radio station which has come under a lot of pressure in recent years. 


Translation: As they want it -- the pledge of Navalny not to leave Kirov, Navalny violates it, they change the lawful measures of restraint. It's a provocation.

In other words, the authorities would then have grounds to arrest Navalny to serve time in pre-trial detention and if the sentence is restored -- four years -- he would have to serve it. 

The trial of Navalny in the Kirovles case in the provincial city of Kirov is a re-opening of a case under which Navalny was already sentenced -- a sentence which the European Court of Human Rights ruled was unjust, and which even the Supreme Court of Russia overturned. But the case was sent back for re-investigation, providing a hook for the authorities to use the affair again to hobble Navalny's activism.

Under Russian law, a judge decides "the measures of restraint" -- these could be a pledge not to leave town, house arrest with or without an ankle bracelet, or pre-trial detention.

Navalny had refused to appear in court as a protest against the unjust action in re-opening it. He was then brought forcibly by bailiffs on a plane to Kirov. There, he has refused to sign the pledge not to leave town. 

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick