Jailed Russian’s associate is convicted
MOSCOW — A top associate of Russia’s imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of trespassing Thursday and handed a suspended sentence of one year community service after she tried to question an alleged security operative believed to be involved in Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.
A court in Moscow found Lyubov Sobol, a politician and a key figure in Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, guilty of forcing her way into the apartment of a relative of the alleged operative whom Navalny had previously duped into revealing details of his poisoning.
Sobol condemned the verdict as a “shame and disgrace” and vowed to appeal.
“In the meantime, a (criminal) case into the attempt upon Navalny’s life hasn’t been even opened,” she said in a tweet.
Navalny is serving a 2½-year prison sentence for a 2014 embezzlement conviction that he says was fabricated and the European Court of Human Rights declared “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.” For more then two weeks, he has been on a hunger strike over prison officials’ refusal to allow a visit from his doctor after he developed severe back and leg pain.