Russia sentences Navalny ally over threat to alleged agent

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • A Russian court on Thursday sentenced an ally of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny - Lyubov Sobol - to one year of community service.
  • Ten percent of her wages would go to the state each month as part of her punishment.
  • Her lawyer Vladimir Voronin said on Twitter that he had already prepared an appeal to the ruling.

A Russian court on Thursday sentenced an ally of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny to one year of community service for trying to enter the home of an alleged security agent he said took part in his poisoning.

Navalny in December said he had tricked an alleged chemical weapons expert with the Federal Security Service (FSB) into admitting that the domestic intelligence agency had sought to kill him last summer by placing poison in his underwear.

His aide Lyubov Sobol that month went to the alleged agent's home and rang his doorbell, after which Russian authorities opened a criminal probe into her for trespassing "with the use of violence or the threat to use it".

A Moscow court said on its Telegram channel that it had given her a suspended sentence of "correctional labour for a period of one year".

It added that 10% of her wages would go to the state each month as part of her punishment.

READ HERE | Russian prison threatens to force-feed Navalny

Sobol had arrived at the court wearing a white T-shirt printed with red text reading: "Where is the criminal case over the poisoning of Navalny?"

After her sentencing she said on Twitter: "Meanwhile, a case into the attempted murder of Navalny has still not even been initiated."

Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter that the ruling would not preclude Sobol from balloting in parliamentary polls this autumn.

Her lawyer Vladimir Voronin said on Twitter that he had already prepared an appeal to the ruling.

Last August, Navalny collapsed on a flight from Siberia to Moscow.

READ | Russia prison service says Navalny's health 'satisfactory'

He was transported in an induced coma to Berlin, where Western experts determined he had been poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny says the poisoning was orchestrated by President Vladimir Putin and carried out by the FSB, claims the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

After spending months recovering in Germany, Navalny returned to Russia in January where he was arrested and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a penal colony over an old embezzlement conviction.

A Russian military court last month rejected his complaint over the lack of a criminal investigation into his poisoning.

Navalny, his allies and his regional network routinely face police raids and arrests over their political activities.

Shortly after the Sobol sentencing, Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation said on Twitter that his regional offices in the Siberian city of Irkutsk were facing a police raid.


Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 5824 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
45% - 5360 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 613 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.13
-0.9%
Rand - Pound
19.86
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.06
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.92
+0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,814.47
-1.3%
Silver
26.96
-2.4%
Palladium
2,859.51
-2.8%
Platinum
1,215.34
-2.0%
Brent Crude
68.55
+0.3%
Top 40
61,529
+0.3%
All Share
67,424
+0.3%
Resource 10
71,663
+1.5%
Industrial 25
83,756
-0.5%
Financial 15
12,642
-0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo