Russia’s justice declares Navalni’s organization “extremist” and outlaws it. With the judicial decision, Russia equates the NGO of the jailed blogger with the Islamic State or Al Qaeda. The court hearing at the Moscow Municipal Court lasted for hours until late at night.
No one expected surprises, and there were none. The Moscow Municipal Court has accepted this Wednesday the demand presented by the Prosecutor’s Office to consider the Fund to Fight Corruption (FBK), the Fund for the Defense of Citizen Rights and the regional representative offices of blogger Alekséi Navalni as groups “extremists “, a decision that automatically places these organizations outside the law .
With this court ruling , Russia equates the NGO founded by the blogger jailed a decade ago with the aim of preventing ” theft of public money ” withIslamic State or Al Qaeda .
Yevgueni Smírnov, one of the seven jurists of the so-called Group 29 who assumed this Wednesday the defense of FBK before the judge, affirmed by telephone to EL PERIÓDICO, a few days before the court hearing, that the case does not stand .
“For the prosecution , it is not important to present legal arguments ; the only objective is to close FBK , even if there are no reasons,” he criticizes. “They have presented 30 volumes of 250 pages each with absurd factsto build a case from scratch; not even they know what to do, “he continues.
Although in the Russian legal system there is also the possibility of qualifying an organization as a” terrorist “, in practice both legal categories” are very similar “, concludes the jurist.
The court hearing on Wednesday turned into a true marathon , which lasted well into the night despite the fact that the court closed its doors at 5:00 p.m. At around 8:00 p.m., the defense lawyers asked to take a break to take food and drink, a request that was denied by the magistrate, and that was answered with a demand for recusal by the defense. “It seems as if there was an order from above to end the process today,” defense attorney Valerii Betoshkin wrote on Telegram .