Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny back in court for jail appeal

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny back in court for jail appeal

MOSCOW – Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to court on Saturday to hear his lawyers appeal against what they say was a politically-motivated decision to jail him for nearly three years.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic, was jailed earlier this month for parole violations he said were trumped up. The West has condemned the case and is discussing possible sanctions on Russia.

As proceedings got underway, a relaxed-looking Navalny said he had heard about a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights asking Russia to free him, a request that Moscow swiftly dismissed as unlawful.

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Speaking from a glass courtroom cage, wearing green trousers and a patterned shirt, Navalny told the presiding judge it would be good if the court would now let him go.

Later on Saturday, he is due to appear in court again for what is expected to be the culmination of a separate slander trial against him.

In the slander case, Navalny

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