It’s Groundhog Day for the Russian opposition and its informal leader:
Alexei Navalny said the verdict at the retrial was copied word for word from his first conviction… As the judge read out the guilty verdict on Wednesday, Navalny tweeted out pages from the original verdict to support his claim that it had been copied word for word.
The background in two paragraphs:
…Navalny was convicted of embezzlement from a state timber company in Kirov in 2013… The 2013 verdict was sent for a retrial by the Russian supreme court after the European court of human rights (ECHR) found procedural violations in it last year.
…The [new, 2017] verdict was based on the same evidence as in 2013 and assigned the same five- and four-year suspended sentences to Navalny and his former business partner Pyotr Ofitserov…
At about the same time as the verdict was being read out in Kirov, the nation’s chief executive expressed remarkable optimism after meeting young scientists in the Kremlin:
Listening to our today’s winners just now, I did not simply listen, but was entranced by what they said and how they spoke. I was struck by how they spoke. A simple but very positive thought came to my mind then. The foundations on which [our] country stands go so deep, and have such solid roots, that Russia’s bright and marvelous future is simply inevitable.
I would be happy – literally, not as a figure of speech – to find good reasons to share in the president’s sunny sentiment. However, predetermined wrongful convictions do not bode well for a predetermined marvelous future.
By the way, “Communism is inevitable” was a Soviet slogan.