While the whole world is watching the war in Ukraine in horror, another war continues in Russia – the war with the opposition. Today, the sixth hearing of the trial of Alexei Navalny in the fraud case took place.
First, they interrogated the witness, who read in the telegram channels that Alexei called the judge a gramophone, and was offended. That’s why she came to court today. True, she could not independently formulate her claims against Navalny, and therefore read them loudly, with an expression, from a piece of paper.
This is the second witness who has offended the judge. And they were both from the same political movement that calls itself Politics 2.0. In total, members of this movement wrote 38 statements against Navalny demanding that he be held accountable for insulting the court. Very touchy members.
Alexei asked if this movement supports Putin’s policies. The judge removed the question, but the witness managed to scream, which, of course, supports.
The second witness was an expert of the Investigative Committee, Ivan Snegirev, whose financial expertise formed the basis of this case.
So, to a direct question, how much money Alexey received from FBK accounts, Snegirev answered: “Zero”. To the accounts of family members: “Also zero.”
Thus, the official examination of the UK actually refuted the position of the investigator. At that very moment, the court should have closed this case and dropped all charges against Alexei.
Alexei himself asked the witness if he understood what he was being tried for? The expert laughed in response, and the judge, as always, shouted that she removed the question.
Then the court moved on to the interrogation of the “victim” Mikhail Kostenko. This is a pensioner who donated 50,000 rubles to Navalny’s presidential campaign, and a month later decided that Navalny had “misled him” and demanded the money back.
True, the corrupt blogger Ilya Remeslo wrote a statement for him – he was already interrogated in this court as a witness. Craft said that he did not know Kostenko before and simply felt sorry for the deceived grandfather, but he is lying – a friend and legal partner of Craft is married to Kostenko’s stepdaughter.
By the way, we returned the money at the first request. But this did not prevent the Investigative Committee 4 years later to attract Mikhail Kostenko as a “victim” in the fraud case.
He did not appear in court – he was taken out via video link on the screen behind a ribbon. That is, they were too shy to interrogate alive. At first, the judge and the prosecutor persistently tried to convince Kostenko that he wanted to close the meeting from the press, but he refused. Due to the fact that the connection was very bad, I had to shout. At some point, a tired Kostenko suddenly barked that he had no complaints against Navalny. Everyone froze, but the judge quickly came to her senses and continued to torment him with procedural questions.
Obviously, both the prosecution and the judge would like to interrogate Kostenko in secret – because otherwise no one will have any doubts that he is a random person who was simply forced to write a statement against Navalny.
The interrogation ended up being open. Kostenko said that he remembers almost nothing, the name “Anti-Corruption Fund” does not tell him anything, how Alexey deceived him – he does not know. The transferred money was returned to him. He has no claims against Navalny.
The prosecutor demanded that Kostenko’s previous testimony be read out, and the judge, as always, allowed it. From them it followed, for example, that Kostenko watched a lot of anti-corruption videos of Alexei and believed him, and then he saw photos from the rest and was disappointed. But Kostenko himself bluntly said in court that he had not seen a single video of Navalny!
While the prosecutor read out the testimony and asked questions, Kostenko almost cried, saying that he only wants it all to end as soon as possible.
Then his wife, Vera Kostenko, was interrogated. She appeared in court and behaved much more cheerfully, but she also claimed that she remembered almost nothing. She remembered one thing for sure: a friend of their son-in-law, Ilya Remeslo, suggested that they write a statement right after they talked with their son-in-law.
For the sixth meeting in a row, we see: the Investigative Committee has nothing against Navalny. They were ordered to invent a case against him, but they did not succeed – the witnesses for the prosecution refuse to testify, and the victims say that they have no claims.
We all know how the courts work in Russia. And there are no illusions that the verdict is already ready, it is guilty and the term is known. But if we can influence something, then only by disseminating information. And if there is a moment when we can do it, then only now.
Putin is trying to jail Navalny forever. We must all unite against Putin and prevent him from doing so. Do not be silent.
Freedom for Alexei Navalny.