Russian opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza lost in the final trial

KAra-Murza said he was proud of his public statements and behavior, for which he faces charges of treason and spreading false information about the Russian military’s performance in Ukraine.

Gara-Murza, a journalist and Kremlin dissident, has been in prison for a year and his trial is taking place behind closed doors. At the end of the session, his statements were published in a statement published in various Russian media.

Speaking in a Moscow court, he said the opacity of the charges against him went beyond that used in the trials of Soviet dissidents in the 1960s and 1970s, and that the language used by thousands of Soviet people was reminiscent of the 1930s. Citizens were arrested, charges were fabricated and trials were held, referring to Stalin’s persecution of the old guard of the Bolshevik Party.

Vladimir Kara-Murza’s lawyer, Maria Esmond, said on Thursday that the prosecutor at his trial had asked for a 25-year prison sentence.

Russian media quoted the lawyer as indicating that the prosecutor was seeking a sentence to be served in a “strict regime” in a penal colony, where conditions are harsh and prisoners are held in prisons, not collective camps.

The defense presented its arguments today before the detainee’s statement, in which he said he was arrested because of his political views, “for speaking out against the war in Ukraine and fighting against the dictatorship. [Presidente russo Vladimir] Putin.

“I’m not sorry, but I’m proud,” he said, “and those who try to fight this war are recognized as criminals.”

According to the indictment, in March 2022, during an intervention before the Arizona House of Representatives in the United States, Kara-Murza “knowingly disseminated false information” that the Russian military had bombed residential areas, hospitals and schools in Ukraine.

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Kara-Murza is accused of treason, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years in Russia, and of working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) declared undesirable by Russian justice.

Kara-Murza is considered a prisoner of conscience by the NGO Amnesty International and was close to Boris Nemdsov, who was killed near the Kremlin in 2015.

According to the Bellinggate investigative team, Kara-Murza was monitored by the same unit of the Federal Security Service (FSB, Russian secret services) that allegedly poisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been in prison for eight years.

In October 2022, Kara-Murza was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Council of Europe.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) today called for Kara-Murza’s release, after a closed-door hearing, with details of the sentence to be known next Monday.

“Vladimir Kara-Murza has been arrested, tried and faces a brutal prison sentence for doing nothing more than raising his voice in Russia that disagrees with the Kremlin, its war in Ukraine and its escalating repression,” said Hugh Williamson, HRW director for Europe and Central Asia.

Also read: “Attempts to cause Russia’s collapse are doomed”

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