Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been ordered to spend 13 days in a solitary confinement cell until a court verdict that could see him sentenced to a further 20 years in prison, his lawyer said Friday.
“Just an hour ago, Alexei Navalny was again placed in a solitary punishment cell [for] introducing himself incorrectly,” his lawyer Vadim Kobzev tweeted.
President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic opponent, Navalny is currently serving a nine-year sentence in a maximum-security penal colony on fraud charges.
Prosecutors requested an additional 20-year prison sentence for Navalny on a new string of “extremism” charges.
He is charged with creating an extremist community and an organization that infringes on the rights of citizens; financing extremism; making calls to extremism; and involving minors in dangerous acts and the rehabilitation of Nazism.
Navalny and his allies have denounced the charges as “absurd” and politically motivated.
The verdict in Navalny’s latest trial is expected on Aug. 4.
“Thirteen days. Exactly until the day of the announcement of the verdict,” lawyer Kobzev wrote about Friday's order to send the Kremlin critic to solitary confinement.
Navalny was jailed upon his January 2021 return to Russia after recovering from a near-fatal poisoning with what Western scientists determined was Novichok, a banned military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviets.
Russian officials outlawed Navalny’s political and activist organizations as "extremist" organizations later that year, prompting nearly all of his close associates to leave the country.
Navalny has continued his anti-Kremlin activism and opposition to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine from prison.