Opposition activist Navalny placed under house arrest
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MOSCOW, February 28 (RAPSI) – On Firday, Basmanny District Court of Moscow has ruled to place renown anti-corruption crusader and opposition stalwart Alexei Navalny under house arrest, in connection to the Yves Rocher embezzlement case, RAPSI reports from the court room.
Navalny will remain under house arrest until April 28, and is prohibited from using any communication devices, as well as the internet. This will effectively halt Navalny's anti-corruption campaign, as it is operated and promoted through his popular LiveJournal blog and Facebook page.
Navalny is already serving a seven-day detention term after being detained, among hundreds of other demonstrators, on Monday for protesting against the conviction of anti-Kremlin activists who were found guilty of rioting and attacking police at a rally on the eve of Putin’s inauguration in 2012.
Navalny was accused of having participated in an unsanctioned protest, inciting chaos, and resisting arrest. He denied having done anything wrong, reminding the court of a suspended sentence he was handed last year. He stressed that he did not wish to rock the boat.
Navalny and his brother Oleg stand accused in a fraud case involving cosmetics company Yves Rocher Vostok. Investigators allege that the Navalny brothers embezzled upwards of 26 million rubles (over $730,000) from the cosmetics company, as well as upwards of 4 million rubles (over $110,000) from the Multidisciplinary Processing Company by way of a fraud scheme. The brothers were further charged with having laundered 21 million rubles.
Investigators allege that Alexei Navalny violated the terms of a restriction notice connected with the case. In January, he was reportedly spotted in the Moscow suburb of Odintsovo, which would imply that he violated the travel restriction imposed by investigators.
He has already been given a suspended sentence of five years for the embezzlement of Kirovles funds.