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UK sanctions six Russians over trial of dual British national

UK sanctions six Russians over trial of dual British national


The sanctions target judges and prosecutors responsible for the trial of Vladimir Kara-Murza, who faces 25 years in a penal colony after an appeal was rejected.

Three judges, two prosecutors and an expert witness have been sanctioned for their part in Kara-Murza’s politically motivated targeting, the UK government said in a press statement on 31 July.

Kara-Murza, a dual British national, was prosecuted by the Russian state for his anti-war stance.

The government statement said:

“Mr Kara-Murza is an opposition politician, journalist, and human rights activist in Russia. He has received wide recognition for his work, including the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. The charges against the dual British-Russian national included treason and spreading ‘knowingly false information’ about the Russian armed forces. In reality, he bravely spoke the truth about Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

“The rejection of Vladimir Kara-Murza’s appeal following his sentencing on bogus charges highlights the depravity of the Russian regime, and their complete disregard for human rights and freedom of expression.

“Today we’ve sanctioned six people connected with his case, sending a clear message that the UK will not stand for this treatment of one of its citizens.

“We will continue to support Mr Kara-Murza and his family, who have worked tirelessly to try and secure his release. I call on Russia to release him immediately and unconditionally.”

The six individuals who have been sanctioned include:

  • Two Moscow City Court judges who convicted and sentenced Kara-Murza on charges of treason, membership of an undesirable group and ‘fake news’.
  • A Basmanny District Court judge who further extended Kara-Murza’s pre-trial detention.
  • The lead prosecutor in the trial who described Kara-Murza as “an enemy of the state” and pressed for the maximum sentence.
  • An expert witness for the Russian government who claimed Kara-Murza’s statements on the Russian Armed Forces amounted to knowingly spreading false information – which served as part of the basis on which Judge Elena Lenskaya ordered Kara-Murza be held.
  • A prosecutor who supported the denial of Kara-Murza’s appeal against his pre-trial detention.

All six individuals will be subject to travel bans and asset freezes.

In April, the UK government sanctioned five individuals – a judge, two investigators involved in Kara-Murza’s trial and two FSB agents involved in his poisoning and arrest.