A “friend and ally”

News from the ECHR:

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny and his brother Oleg were unfairly convicted of financial crimes at trial in the so-called Yves Rocher case in 2014.

In an October 17 ruling, the ECHR said that Russian courts handed down “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable” decisions in the case, which led to the imprisonment of Oleg Navalny and a suspended sentence for his better-known brother Aleksei.

The court found that Articles 6 and 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated: the right to a fair trial and the right not to be found guilty for acts that were not criminal at the time of commission.

In 2016, the ECHR declared void Alexei Navalny’s conviction in another case, known as Kirovles. Russian courts promptly re-convicted Navalny using a somewhat different legal logic but otherwise copying and pasting the voided ruling. This case is almost guaranteed to come before the ECHR again, but it may be too late to make Navalny an eligible candidate for the 2018 presidential election. At least there is some hope his brother will be freed and no longer kept hostage in a prison camp.

In the meantime,

Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s political mentor, has said she will stand in Russia’s presidential election next March, which Putin is expected to win…

Sobchak said she saw Navalny as a “friend and ally” and hoped he would support her.

I should be constantly reminded never to think I’ve seen it all.

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