Russian oppositionist faces 25 years in prison on charges of treason

The trail of the last Russian opposition activist charged with speaking out against the Kremlin has begun in Moscow.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is accused of high treason for spreading, according to the prosecutor’s office, “fake news” about the Russian army. He faces 25 years in prison.

His lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, said the trial was politically motivated and unreasonably expedited.

“Obviously, the authorities decided to hold the trial of Kara-Murza at a cosmic pace, as quickly as possible, the next meeting is already on Thursday, March 16, and, unfortunately, there is no doubt what the final verdict will be.”

In the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, a prominent liberal MEP from Renewed Europe, spoke out against Moscow’s treatment of Kara-Murza and other opponents of the Kremlin.

“I think that this parliament at this session should support them and return to the table the release of Alexei Navalny, and with them all political prisoners, as the Russian Vladimir Kara-Murza, Alexei Gorinov and many others were in prison. others have been arrested for speaking out against the war in Ukraine,” he said.

Kara-Murza is a Western-educated activist and close associate of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Last October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, awarded Vladimir Kara-Murza the Vaclav Havel Prize for Human Rights.

He is among several critics of Vladimir Putin detained after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.