On Thursday the court will announce verdict in the case of Aleksei Navalny. The leader of protests against Vladimir Putin, blogger fighting against corruption, is accused of embezzlement in the state lumber company Kirovles. Navalny is currently a candidate in the elections of the mayor of Moscow. He is candidate for the Republican Party of Russia-Parnas, leaded by Boris Nemtsov.
‘What's the verdict that Vladimir Putin signed - I do not know’ - Boris Nemtsov told reporters in Warsaw. He hopes that Alexei Navalny will not be sentendced to prison.
Boris Nemtsov stressed that the accusations are completely unfounded, and the reasons for the trial are purely political.
“This is no doubt it is a fully fabricated process. From the beginning to the end. Putin and his entourage are afraid of Alexei Navalny, afraid of opposition. Putin's aim is to keep power in his hands. That's why he fabricates trials and tries to put his opponents in jail. This is typical political repression, a very well known even in Lukashenka’s Belarus, in Russia under Stalin and Brezhnev. They did not invent anything wiser than imprisoning those who are undesirable and those with whom they disagree”, Nemtsov said.
Boris Nemtsov noted that Navalny is a candidate of his party Parnas for Moscow mayor elections. And those elections will be held on September 8. In his opinion, the sentence on July 18 the could be really harsh.
- Navalny cannot be immediately put in prison because he is entitled to appeal, and this appeal will be dealt with after the election. Later, according to Nemtsov, everything will depend on the degree of support of the inhabitants of Moscow.
“I think their plan is like that. They are hoping that he will not receive enough votes in elections, then they will say "You see, he did not got enough votes, he is not supported by Moskvitches" and therefore he would go behind bars. However, this plan may fail because he can get a lot of votes. Right now he is the main rival of the former Moscow Mayor Sobyanin. Even pro-Kremlin sociologists say Navalny is in the second place, and there is growth in support. If campaign is active, which is difficult in summer, he can make it very well. There might be a second round of elections. This would be the perfect option. I think that if Moskvitches support Navalny, Putin will be afraid to put him in jail, the Russian”, oppositionist said.
Boris Nemtsov commented Alexei Navalny process during the interview with reporters in Warsaw. He was the guest of the X Warsaw East European Conference WEEC 2013 organized by the Department of Eastern Europe of the University of Warsaw.
Agnieszka Kamińska, PolskieRadio.pl
Alexei Navalny during the trial
Alexei Navalny PAP/EPA/VALENTINA SVISTUNOVA