New investigations could result in higher sentences for the Kremlin critic, his allies fear.
Russia has launched three new criminal investigations against Alexey Navalny, the Kremlin jailed critic claims, a move that his allies fear could land him in prison for many years.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Navalny said he learned about the cases from an investigator who visited him in custody the day before.
The 44-year-old is currently imprisoned in a penal colony east of Moscow, serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for alleged parole violations in connection with a 2014 excavation conviction. he removed as made.
He was arrested in January on his return to Russia from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the poisoning of a nervous agent he blamed on the Kremlin.
“I become a tougher criminal every day,” Navalny joked in the Instagram post. “So don’t think I’m just sitting in a cell, drinking tea and doing nothing.”
He said investigators were looking into his alleged misappropriation of nearly $ 5m in donations given by his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), and accused him of insulting judge Vera Akimova.
Akimova led a defamation lawsuit in February against Navalny that saw him found guilty of insulting a World War II veteran. He also dismissed that case as baseless.
Navalny said he was also accused of creating a non -commercial organization and encouraged Russians to relinquish “their civic duty” by publishing an investigation into President Vladimir Putin’s alleged vast personal wealth.
Navalny in January released an investigation into a Black Sea palace the Russian tycoons had allegedly built for Putin.
The video has garnered over 116 million views on YouTube. Putin denies that the palace belongs to him.
Citing investigators, the Kremlin critic said the three new probes all had “high priority” and had more than 20 investigators working on them.
Moscow focused on Navalny’s mobilization
Navalny’s allies fear that fresh charges against him could increase his time in prison.
“Putin has decided to keep Navalny in prison for life,” aide Maria Pevchikh tweeted. “It’s more convenient for him that way.”
New allegations were announced as pressure to oppose Russia’s politics ahead of September’s parliamentary elections
Next month, a court ruling will be held to determine whether the network of regional offices and its FBK should be classified as “extremist” by Russian authorities.
In a call to protect its members and supporters from possible prosecution, Navalny’s network was disbanded first in the trial.
Most of his main allies have already been placed under house arrest or leaving Russia.
Russia’s financial audit service Rosfinmonitoring has already added Navalny’s political network to its database of “terrorist and extremist” organizations.
In an apparent further blow to Navalny’s circle, Russian politicians recently signaled their approval for legislation that would ban members of “extremist” organizations from becoming legislators.
Navalny’s imprisonment this year has led to nationwide anti-government protests.
The Kremlin condemned the rallies as illegal as authorities arrested thousands in attendance.