The lawsuit for insulting a 95-year-old war veteran by Russian Kremlin critic Aleksej Navalny began on Friday. The 44-year-old opposition leader is present in court to defend himself in the libel case.
Navalny is accused of insulting a number of Russians in a government ad video, including the World War II veteran.
The Russians spoke out in favour of amending the constitution to allow President Putin to stay in power longer. Navalny described them on social media as “shame on our country” and “traitors”.
According to his lawyer, the politician does not have to fear a new prison sentence. The offence is currently punishable by two years in prison, but that would not have been the case when Navalny sent the Twitter message criticizing his fellow countrymen.
The law was only later amended to make it possible to detain suspects.
The court will probably not yet rule on the case on Friday. Navalny was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison on Tuesday for violating the terms of his parole. He still has two years and eight months of that sentence to serve, because he has already been in custody for ten months.