© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via video link from the IK-2 criminal colony in Pokrov during a court hearing to hear an appeal against his prison sentence in Moscow, Russia on May 24, 2022. Photo: Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Tuesday he is indicted in a new criminal case and faces up to 15 more years on top of his existing sentence if found guilty.
In social media posts, Navalny said he was accused of founding an extremist organization and inciting hatred against the authorities. The charges come on top of a nine-year prison sentence handed down in March for fraud and contempt of court, before which he had already served a two-and-a-half year sentence.
“Not even eight days have passed since my nine-year maximum security sentence came into effect, and today the detective reappeared and formally charged me with a new case,” Navalny said on Twitter (NYSE:NYSE).
“It turns out that I created an extremist group to incite hatred against officials and oligarchs. And when they put me in prison, I dared to get upset and called for gatherings. For that they should add up to 15 more years to my sentence.”
There was no immediate confirmation of the new fee.
Western human rights organizations and politicians have condemned the various criminal cases brought in recent years against Navalny, the most prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent during his expedition to Siberia, according to an analysis by several European medical institutions. After months of medical treatment in Germany, he was arrested upon his return to Russia in early 2021 for probation violations.
After invading Ukraine, the Kremlin accelerated its decades-long campaign to suppress and silence Russian domestic dissent. Navalny spoke out against the war and attacked Putin in a court hearing, calling the invasion “stupid” and “based on lies”.