Navalny appears in court for first time since ending hunger strike

Navalny appears in court for first time since ending hunger strike
Alexey Navalny is seen on screen via a video link before a court hearing on Thursday.
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny appeared in court via videolink on Thursday to appeal a defamation conviction. This is his first public appearance since he went on hunger strike in the jail.

The vocal critic of president Vladimir Putin was jailed in February in a separate case for breaking parole conditions.

The activist was in Germany recovering from being poisoned with the Soviet-era military grade nerve agent Novichok when he was accused of breaking his parole. Kremlin denied any involvement behind it.

Navalny blames the Putin administration for the attempt on his life, which the government has repeatedly denied.

The opposition leader went on hunger strike on March 31 while in prison to demand medical care, but ended it last week when he was finally given medical attention.

Mr Navalny spoke with his wife, Yulia Navalnya, who was physically present in court, telling her details about his weight and what he last ate.

He said he was taken to a bathhouse in order to look “decent” for his hearing.

Navalny said: “I looked at myself. I’m just an awful skeleton. Last time I weighed 72kg I was probably in the 7th grade,” adding that he ate “four tablespoons of porridge a day, today five, tomorrow I will eat six.”

Russia has brought several cases against Alexei Navalny, which he and his supporters say are trumped up. On Thursday, Navalny began an appeals process to have his conviction for defaming a World War II veteran, 94-year-old Ignat Artemenko.

You may read: Iranian attack boats harassed US warships in Persian Gulf again