A new trial against jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has begun inside the maximum-security prison east of the capital, Moscow, where he is held.
Navalny is accused of fresh fraud charges. He has already spent a year behind bars after surviving a poison attack that he blames on the Kremlin.
He is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
This latest trial could see his prison time extended by more than a decade.
Navalny, 45, was detained when he returned to Russia in January 2021, after months of treatment in Germany for a near-fatal Novichok nerve agent attack in Siberia.
The following month he was jailed for three-and-a-half years for violating the conditions of a suspended sentence in an embezzlement case. Navalny insists the charges were politically motivated but he could not have met the conditions anyway as he was in a coma for some of the time.
The new charges allege that Mr Navalny stole $4.7m (£3.5m) of donations given to his political organisations.
They carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
His wife, Yuliya Navalnaya, was at the hearing at the jail in Pokrov, has demanded access to the closed-door proceedings a day earlier.
His close colleague Leonid Volkov tweeted that for a change Navalny was not being tried inside the usual “cage”. That was because the whole court was a cage as it was inside his penal colony, he said.
Amnesty International described the hearing as a “sham trial, attended by prison guards rather than the media”.
“It’s obvious that the Russian authorities intend to ensure that Navalny doesn’t leave prison any time soon,” it said in a statement on Monday.
Navalny runs an anti-corruption foundation called FBK that has highlighted graft in Mr Putin’s United Russia party and published a widely viewed video alleging that the president’s rich associates gave him a luxurious Black Sea palace.
Last year, a court in Moscow banned political organisations linked to him, classifying them as “extremist”.