Russian court sentences exiled politician Leonid Gozman to 8.5 years in absentia

Leonid Gozman. Photo: Alec Sander / AP Photo / Scanpix / LETA

Leonid Gozman. Photo: Alec Sander / AP Photo / Scanpix / LETA

A Moscow court has found politician and Novaya Gazeta Europe columnist Leonid Gozman guilty of “spreading false information” about the Russian army on the grounds of “political hatred”, the city courts’ press service said on Thursday.

Gozman was also banned from running social media accounts and websites for four years after his release.

The charges were first brought against Gozman in December. Russian news agency TASS reported at the time that the case against him concerned Facebook and Telegram posts that “distort information about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces during the special military operation”, adding that the posts had “undergone comprehensive psychological and linguistic analysis, which proved the deliberate distortion of information” about the war in Ukraine. There has never been any specification of which posts the charges referred to.

Gozman, who was the president of the now dissolved liberal-conservative Union of Right Forces, left Russia in September 2022 after he was handed a punishment of 30 days’ detention for equating the actions of the USSR and Nazi Germany.

A second case against Gozman for failing to declare his dual Russian-Israeli citizenship is ongoing. On 25 July last year, the Interior Ministry placed Gozman on the federal wanted list.

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