Russia court finds opposition leader guilty of slander

Russia court finds opposition leader guilty of slander

[JURIST] Judge Anna Nekryach of the Babushkinsky district court [official website, in Russian] on Tuesday found opposition leader Alexei Navalny [JURIST news archive] guilty of slander. A Moscow City Duma Deputy, Aleksei Lisovenko filed the lawsuit [RFE/RL report] after Navalny allegedly posed about Lisovenko on his Twitter account [personal account, in Russian], calling the deputy a drug addict. Nekryach found that the comment constituted slander and ordered Navalny to pay a 300,000 ruble (USD $8,350) fine. In February a Moscow court ordered Navalny on house arrest [JURIST report] during an investigation of embezzlement charges. Navalny and his supporters have argued [JURIST report] that these charges have been politically based, as Navalny’s blog [blog, translated to English] is in strong opposition to President Vladimir Putin [JURIST report].

Russia has cracked down on dissent recently. In November a Moscow court ruled [JURIST report] the Russian government could seize of Navalny’s assets. In October a Russian appeals court upheld [JURIST report] Navalny’s embezzlement conviction but suspended his five-year jail sentence, allowing him to walk free. In June the UN released a letter from human rights experts voicing their concern [JURIST report] that two Russian non-governmental organizations have been charged by Russian prosecutors following their involvement with the UN Committee against Torture.