The Moscow district court of Yuzhnoye Medvedkovo has convicted Alexei Navalny of defaming a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the Babushkinsky court, citing Judge Vera Akimova's verdict. He is now obliged to pay an $11,481 fine as a penalty. The ruling can be appealed within 10 days.
Navalny was accused of making defamatory comments against Ignat Artemenko, a war veteran, over his participation in a video supporting the amendments to the Russian constitution. The Russian blogger pleaded not guilty.
Navalny had already been sentenced to a prison term linked to the Yves Rocher fraud case after violating probation conditions. While 10 months he spent under house arrest were factored in, his initial jail sentence of 3.5 years was further trimmed earlier in the day after another 1.5 months were deducted. This means that Navalny is expected to spend a little over 2.5 years behind bars.
The blogger was previously detained in Russia after returning from Germany, where he had received medical treatment following a suspected poisoning in Siberia, evidence for which the German health experts allegedly found in his body, namely, traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group. Moscow has consistently rejected the findings and requested that the evidence to be shared with it.