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Alexey Navalny says he faces a new criminal case for allegedly insulting a judge

In an Instagram post published on May 25, jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny informed his supporters that the Russian authorities have opened a new criminal case against him for allegedly insulting a judge.

“My third crime, which is being investigated by the highest investigative authority, is insulting judge [Vera] Akimova. The same auntie who led the fabricated case about “insulting a veteran” that bowled over all of the country’s lawyers. How exactly I insulted [her] also isn’t specified. It’s also just ‘Navalny caused offense — here’s a new criminal case for him.”

In February, judge Vera Akimova fined Navalny 850,000 rubles (about $11,500) after finding him guilty of slandering World War II veteran Ignat Artemenko. Navalny’s lawyers later filed an appeal against the ruling. 

After she passed the verdict, Akimova asked state investigators to conduct a probe of Navalny’s statements during the proceedings for alleged insults to the judge (herself) and the prosecutor, Ekaterina Frolova. Frolova initiated the check herself. 

In February, a Russian court converted Alexey Navalny’s probation in the Yves Rocher Case into 2.5-year prison sentence and sent him to a penal colony in the Vladimir region. After experiencing health problems in prison, Navalny went on hunger strike for 24 days, demanding access to trusted doctors.

Earlier, in December 2020, Russian investigators launched a criminal case for large-scale fraud against Navalny. According to the investigation, Navalny embezzled hundreds of millions of rubles worth of donations from the FBK and other non-profit organizations. 

In April, reports emerged that another criminal case had been opened against Alexey Navalny, as well as his chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, and the director of his Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov. The three opposition figures stand accused of creating a non-profit organization that infringes on the liberties and rights of Russian citizens.

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