Prosecutor Seeks 12 Years For Former Chief Of Navalny's Team In Bashkortostan


UFA, Russia -- The prosecution has asked a court in Ufa, the capital of Russia's Bashkortostan region, to convict and sentence Lilia Chanysheva, the former leader of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's team, to 12 years in prison.

Chanysheva's lawyer Ramil Gizatullin said that the prosecutor also asked the Kirov district court on April 26 to fine Chanysheva 700,000 rubles ($8,550).

The prosecutor is also seeking five years in prison for Chanysheva's co-defendant, Rustem Mulyukov.

Chanysheva, 41, was arrested in November 2022 and later charged with the organization of an extremist community, public calls for extremist activities, and propagating the activities of a noncommercial organization that encroaches on citizens' privacy and rights.

Chanysheva's trial started on March 1 with Judge Azamat Bikchurin accepting a prosecutors' request to hold the proceedings behind closed doors.

Chanysheva headed the local unit of Navalny's network of regional campaign groups until his team disbanded them after a Moscow prosecutor went to court and had them branded "extremist."

The request was accepted, effectively outlawing the group.

Chanysheva's defense team said at the time that her arrest was the first since the movement was banned. The charges appear to be retroactive, since the organization she worked for was disbanded before it had been legally classified as extremist.

Amnesty International has urged the Russian authorities to release Chanysheva "immediately," insisting that the extremism charges were "false" and should be dropped.

Navalny himself has been in prison since February 2021, after he was arrested the month prior upon returning to Russia from Germany, where he had been undergoing treatment for a near-fatal poisoning with a Novichok-type nerve agent that he says was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has denied any role in Navalny's poisoning.

Several of the opposition leaders and Kremlin critic's associates have been charged with establishing an extremist group. Many of Navalny's close associates fled the country amid pressure from the Russian authorities.