MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. The small claims court of Moscow’s Babuskinsky District has ruled that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is guilty of defaming World War II veteran Ignat Artemenko, TASS reports from the courtroom.
"The court rules to find Alexey Navalny guilty of the crime under Article 128.1 Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (Defamation)," judge Vera Akimova read out the verdict. "The court has ruled to fine Alexey Navalny 850,000 rubles [$11,500]." The judge did not find aggravating factors and viewed the fact that he has an underage child as an extenuation.
The prosecution had asked the court to fine him 950,000 rubles ($12,800), while Navalny’s defense team insisted on an acquittal.
According to the prosecution, on June 2, Navalny uploaded a video to his Telegram channel and Twitter page in which World War II veteran Ignat Artemenko expressed his civic position supporting amendments to the Russian constitution. Navalny made "wittingly false comments harmful to the veteran’s honor and dignity and undermining his reputation." Navalny does not plead guilty. Earlier, the court suspended proceedings on the case but resumed them after Navalny’s return to Russia.