The Russian opponent Alexei Navalny denounced this Tuesday that his appearance in court was an attempt to “scare millions” of Russians and went back to accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his poisoning with a nerve agent last summer.
“He will go down in history as the poisoner”, he said before the court. “You know, there was a certain Alexander (II) the Liberator and a certain Yaroslav the Wise. And we will have Vladimir, the Poisoner ”.
The opponent stressed that “everyone has been convinced that he (Putin) is a simple three-to-fourth official, who was put into office by chance. Has never participated in a debate. Their only means of fighting is murder ”.
Navalny considered that the true objective of the trial is “Scare huge numbers of people”.
“They imprison one of them to scare millions”, said the opponent at the hearing, after which he could be sentenced to spend between two and a half and three and a half years in jail for violating, according to the authorities, his judicial control.
However, recalling the repression and arrest of thousands of people during the demonstrations of the last two weekends, Navalny added that he hoped that more and more people would notice. “That imprisoning millions or hundreds of thousands of people is impossible.”
“When they realize it, and that moment will come, they will see that the whole country cannot be imprisoned”, he assured.
Here is Navalny’s full statement:
I would like to start by discussing here the legal question, which seems to me to be paramount and a bit overlooked in this discussion. There are two people sitting there and one of them says: let’s lock up Navalny because he showed up [para reunirse con sus oficiales de libertad condicional] Mondays, not Wednesdays. And the other says: let’s lock up Navalny because he didn’t show up immediately after coming out of the coma. But I would like everyone to remember that the essence of this trial is to lock me up for a case in which I have already been exonerated, a case that has already been recognized as fabricated.
If we look at the criminal statutes, Your Honor, I hope you have already done that once or twice, we will see that the European Court of Human Rights is a party [del sistema de justicia ruso] and its decisions are binding. The Russian Federation half recognized this decision and even paid me compensation here. Despite this, my brother spent 3.5 years in prison for this same case. I spent a whole year under house arrest for this very case.
Let’s do a little math. The verdict was in 2014, it is now 2021, and I am still being prosecuted for this. Why this case exactly? There is a reason and it is not because there is a shortage of criminal charges against me. Someone wanted to arrest me, the moment I crossed the border [después de regresar de Alemania].
The explanation is the hatred and fear of a man: a man hiding in a bunker. I mortally offended him by surviving. I survived thanks to good people, thanks to pilots and doctors. And then I committed an even more serious crime: I didn’t run and hide. Then something really scary happened: I participated in the investigation of my own poisoning and we show that Putin was in fact responsible for this assassination attempt. And that’s driving this little thief man in his bunker crazy. He’s just going crazy as a result.
Because everyone was convinced that he was just a bureaucrat who was accidentally appointed to his post. He has never participated in a debate. Their only means of fighting is murder. He will go down in history as nothing more than a poisoner. We all remember Alejandro the Liberator [Alejandro II] and Yaroslav the Wise [Yaroslav I]. Well, now we have Vladimir the Poisoner.
The main thing about this whole test is not what happens to me. Locking myself up is not difficult. What matters most is why this happens. This is happening to intimidate large numbers of people. They are incarcerating one person to scare millions.
I hope people don’t see this trial as a sign that they should be more scared. This is not a show of force, it is a show of weakness. You cannot imprison hundreds of thousands or millions. I very much hope that people realize this. And it will. Because you can’t lock up the whole country.
The only thing that is growing in [Rusia] is the number of billionaires. Everything else is diminishing. I am locked in a prison cell and all I hear on television is that butter is getting more expensive. The price of eggs is going up. They have deprived these people of a future.
Everything I am saying now reflects my attitude towards the staging that they have put together here. This is what happened when anarchy and tyranny became the essence of a political system, and it is horrible.
But it is even worse when anarchy and tyranny pose as state prosecutors and dress up in the robes of a judge. It is the duty of everyone to defy it and defy those laws.
I’m fighting the best I can and will continue to do so, even though I am now under the control of people who love to smear everything with chemical weapons. My life is not worth a penny, but I will do my best to make the law prevail. And I salute all the honest people from all over the country who are not afraid and who take to the streets. Because they have the same rights as you. This country belongs to them as it does to you.
I want to say that now there are many good things in Russia. The best are the people who are not afraid, the people who do not look the other way, who will never deliver our country to the officials who want to exchange it for palaces and discos.
I demand my immediate release and the release of all political prisoners. This performance [de la corte] It is illegal.
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