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Russia imprisons exiled politician Leonid Gozman for 8.5 years in absentia for war criticism

Exiled Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison in absentia for criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the judicial press service in Moscow said. said Thursday.

Gozman, 73, was charged in connection with his criticism of the invasion of Ukraine on his Facebook profile and Telegram channel, as well as in appearances on political programs on YouTube.

Moscow’s Gagarinsky District Court found Gozman guilty of spreading “false news” about the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine on Thursday.

Gozman denies the allegations.

The sentence, along with the court’s four-year ban on Gozman from managing websites, fully meets the prosecutor’s requested sentence. It will begin as soon as Gozman returns or is extradited to Russia.

Gozman fled Russia in September 2022 after being jailed for two consecutive 15-day terms in connection with his blog posts in 2013 and 2020 that said the Soviet regime was no better than the Nazi regime.

Months earlier, the Justice Department labeled Gozman a “foreign agent” and jailed him for allegedly failing to inform authorities of his dual Russian-Israeli citizenship.

Gozman had been prohibited from attending his own wartime censorship trial via video link for “procedural and technical” reasons.

Gozman was the last leader of a small political party that included exiled former Putin adviser Anatoly Chubais and assassinated opposition figure Boris Nemtsov.

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