Russian opposition leader is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence and now prosecutors are demanding a further 13 more years in prison on new charges.

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny could spend the rest of his life in prison, according to his supporters.
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny could spend the rest of his life in prison, according to his supporters. (Reuters)

Russian prosecutors have called for jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny to serve 13 years in prison on new fraud charges.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most vocal domestic critic, was jailed last year after surviving a poison attack he blames on the Kremlin.

"I request that Navalny be sentenced to a term of 13 years and a subsequent two years of probation," prosecutor Nadezhda Tikhonova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday.

The prosecutor also requested "two years of restricted freedom" for Navalny and that he pay a fine of $10,600.

In a trial held inside a prison colony outside Moscow where Navalny is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence, Navalny is facing embezzlement and contempt of court charges.

It was not immediately clear if the 13 years include the sentence he is currently serving.

His corruption charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years, while contempt of court is punishable by up to six months.

A key Navalny aide and former head of his regional offices, Leonid Volkov, said that Russia is seeking to keep Navalny jailed for life.

"He was sentenced to life from the very start. So long as Putin is still in the Kremlin," Volkov said on Twitter.

Navalny's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said his sentence depends on "how long Putin is in power".

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"Then we will do everything so that he doesn't stay in power long," Yarmysh said.

Investigators accuse Navalny of stealing for personal use several million dollars' worth of donations that were given to his political organisations.

Before he was jailed, Navalny was Russia's main opposition leader and his team frequently published investigations into the wealth of Russia's elites that garnered millions of views on YouTube.

Navalny's poisoning in 2020 with a military-grade nerve agent and arrest on his return from rehabilitation in Germany last year sparked widespread condemnation abroad as well as sanctions from Western capitals.

After his arrest, Navalny's political organisations across the country were declared "extremist" and shut down, while many key aides fled Russia fearing prosecution.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies