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Navalny denounces slander trial amid tensions with West

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13 February 2021 12:08 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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MOSCOW (Reuters), 12 Feb, 2021 - Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Friday appeared in court on slander charges he denounced as politically motivated amid mounting tensions between Russia and the West over his treatment.


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


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Friday that Moscow was ready to sever ties with the European Union if the bloc hit it with painful economic sanctions. Moscow has accused the West of hysteria over the case.


Navalny railed against the slander case in several heated exchanges with the judge, and at one point told her she didn’t know the law and needed legal courses.


The judge reprimanded the 44-year-old lawyer at least 15 times and threatened to have him removed from the hearing.


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