Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny told a Moscow court on Tuesday that the aim of the legal proceedings against him was to intimidate opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
“The main thing in this process is to intimidate a huge number of people,” Navalny said at the hearing, where he is facing several years of prison time.
“This is how it works.They are putting one person behind bars to scare millions,” he added.
Navalny once again accused Russian authorities of attempted murder over his poisoning with nerve agent Novichok last August. He was eventually flown to Germany for treatment.
Referring to his own team’s claims that they had founded traces of the poison in his undergarments, Navalny mocked Putin, saying: “This man will go down in history as a poisoner of underpants.”
“Police are guarding me, and half of Moscow is on lockdown, because we have shown that he is trying to steal his opponents’ underpants and smear them with chemical weapons.”
Navalny was in court Tuesday charged with violating the terms of a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence he was given in 2014, because he did not check in with the prison service while in Germany.
Prosecutors have called for the suspended sentence to be turned into real jail time.
“We have shown and proven that Putin, using the FSB (security service), committed this attempted murder...,” said Navalny.
“Now many people know this and more will know, and this drives the little man in the bunker crazy,” he added.