Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza sentenced to 25 years in prison

17 April, 03:00 PM
Vladimir Kara-Murza (Photo:Moscow City Court/Handout via REUTERS)

Vladimir Kara-Murza (Photo:Moscow City Court/Handout via REUTERS)

A Moscow court has sentenced Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison for criticizing Russia’s war in Ukraine, Russian news website Mediazona reported on April 17.

Kara-Murza faced three charges: 1) spreading “fakes” about the Russian army; 2) working for an “undesirable” organization, due to his cooperation with the Open Russia Foundation; and 3) treason. The prosecution requested a 25-year sentence.

Kara-Murza pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Speaking before the verdict, he said, “The day will come when the darkness over our country will dissipate. When black will be called black and white will be called white; when at an official level it will be acknowledged that two plus two equals four; when war will be called war, and usurpers will be called usurpers; and when those who incited and unleashed this war will be recognized as the criminals, not those who tried to stop it.”

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His words were heard only by judges and the prosecutor, as his trial was closed to the public and journalists.

Kara-Murza’s health significantly deteriorated during the year he spent in custody, he lost 22 kilograms in pretrial detention, say his lawyers.

Kara-Murza woke from a coma that he believes was poison-induced on Feb. 8.

In 2017, he was diagnosed with “acute poisoning by an unknown substance,” and he was twice hospitalized in critical condition in the following years with suspected poisoning.

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