Russian Court Holds Nutso ‘Terrorism’ Trial to Rage Against Meta Press Secretary

A Russian military court convened on Thursday to rage against the press secretary of Facebook’s parent company over a tweet posted more than two years ago.

Andy Stone, the press secretary of Meta, was not present in the Moscow District Military Court. Andy Stone will probably never be present in a Russian court.

But that did not stop a high-profile prosecutor from trying to call up a witness to make the Kremlin’s case that Stone is guilty of “justifying terrorism” for announcing back in March 2022 that Facebook and Instagram users could write “death to the Russian invaders” as much as they pleased. (Stone made clear at the time, at the height of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, that calls for violence against Russian civilians would not be tolerated.)

Stone, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast, has been on a federal wanted list in Russia since he was arrested in absentia on the charge last November.

“The court took measures to notify Stone, but did not receive a response,” Judge Roman Kiforenko said at the start of the hearing.

Prosecutor Boris Loktionov initially demanded that the government’s witness, a man named Sergei Timoshev, be called up to testify. But he ultimately relented when the judge pressed him on how crucial Timoshev’s testimony would be.

“Was he an eyewitness to the crime?” the judge asked, per a transcript by MediaZona, whose reporter was present in the courtroom.

“Your Honor, he simply read a message that was published on the Internet. And he discussed this message, let’s say, with his friends and colleagues. As such, we will not obtain a significant form of evidence from his testimony. I don’t need this witness!”

After being granted a brief recess to think about his decision, however, the prosecutor said he would in fact need to wait for the witness to turn up to speak about having seen the offending tweet. Court was thus adjourned until April 22, when Sergei Timoshev may or may not show up to fill the court in on the horrors of the tweet.


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