The eighth hearing on the Navalny case took place today. And finally, today the defense side began to present its position.
At the beginning of the meeting, Alexei’s lawyer Olga Mikhailova asked five witnesses to be interrogated – they all appeared. The prosecutor tried to say that the need for these interrogations should be motivated, but the judge ignored her. Still, they are embarrassed to pass sentences right on the spot.
The first witness was journalist Yevgenia Albats. She said that every month she donated 10,000 rubles to Navalny’s various projects, and she believes that this was her best investment in life.
Then the representative of the liquidated Memorial Sergey Davidis spoke. He also said that he repeatedly donated money to various projects of Navalny, including the presidential campaign. He does not feel cheated. According to him, the fact that Navalny might not be allowed before the elections was known from the very beginning. So it cannot be said that he misled anyone by hiding it.
The same was confirmed by Bozena Rynska, the third defense witness. According to her, everyone knew that Navalny might not be allowed before the elections, but they still donated money voluntarily, including herself. She also said that FBK protected her interests and did a great job with it.
The next witness, Konstantin Margolis, donated to FBK 16 times. He believes that all the money was spent without making a profit, moreover, as a donor, he regularly received reports from the Foundation on all the money spent.
A fifth witness, history teacher Raushan Valiullin, volunteered for Navalny’s mayoral campaign. He did not receive money for his work, but he saw where they went – for the printing of leaflets and posters, for the work of the headquarters as a whole.
The prosecutor’s office constantly turned to witnesses and emphasized that Navalny was being tried not for collecting donations, but for stealing them. But in fact, this is a rhetorical device. Navalny is not on trial for stealing anything. The financial expertise carried out by the UK showed that he never received a penny from the FBK money. This was directly confirmed in court by the IC expert himself.
According to the indictment, Navalny is on trial for allegedly spending the money raised for his campaign and the Foundation on non-target needs. Specifically: collected for the fight against corruption, and spent on extremism. On the “overthrow of the existing system” – this is directly indicated in the case file. But since this accusation will seem stupid to any sane person, the prosecutor’s office tries not to remind him once again and instead hints that Navalny personally stole something.
At the next meetings, the defense will continue to call their witnesses to court – there are many more of them than prosecution witnesses. And these will not be corrupt bloggers, but real people of different professions and from different regions who donated money to Navalny and can confirm in court that no one deceived them. We will continue to talk about this further, but without your help, this is meaningless. These videos need to be shared. Now, when the last independent media are banned, the value of reliable information is greater than ever. And each of us can contribute and tell the truth.
Freedom for Alexei Navalny.