Wed, 19 Jan 2022

A court in Moscow has sentenced a man to 32 months in prison for damaging a vehicle of the Federal Security Service (FSB) during January protest rallies in support of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.

The Tver district court on December 8 found vlogger Konstantin Lakeyev guilty of damaging FSB property and sentenced him the same day.

Lakeyev was arrested and charged on January 26, pleading guilty to the charges.

Lakeyev is one of several people to be handed prison terms or suspended sentences in recent months for attacking police or police equipment during the nationwide demonstrations held on January 23 and 31 to protest against Navalny's arrest.

The Kremlin critic was detained at a Moscow airport on January 17 upon his arrival from Germany, where he was recovering from a poison attack by what several European laboratories concluded was a military-grade chemical nerve agent in Siberia in August 2020.

Navalny has claimed his poisoning was ordered directly by President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin denies.

In February, a Moscow court ruled that while in Germany, Navalny had violated the terms of parole from an old embezzlement case that is widely considered as being politically motivated.

Navalny's 3 1/2-year suspended sentence from the case was converted to a jail term, though the court said he will serve 2 1/2 years in prison given time he had been held in detention.

More than 10,000 supporters of Navalny were detained across Russia during and after the January rallies. Many of the detained men and women were either fined or handed several-day jail terms At least 90 were charged with criminal misdeeds and several have been fired by their employers.

In October, European lawmakers awarded Navalny the Sakharov Prize, the European Union's highest human rights honor.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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