Opposition activist Navalny appeals suspended sentence
MOSCOW, July 11 (RAPSI) – Defense of previously convicted opposition activist and mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has appealed the extension of suspended sentence issued in the Kirovles timber embezzlement case, attorney Vadim Kobzev told RAPSI on Friday.
Earlier, judge Oksana Zaretskaya has granted a motion filed by the Federal Penitentiary Service, which argued that the numerous administrative and criminal charges brought against Navalny could influence his sentence under the Kirovles case.
The Federal Penitentiary Service has requested that the court extend Navalny’s suspended sentence by three months “to ensure the convict’s reformation and effective control over his behavior,” and that it once more caution him against committing administrative crimes during that period.
Under Russian law, if a convict violates the conditions of a suspended sentence, the court can replace the suspended sentence with actual prison time.
The Leninsky Court of Kirov handed down a five-year suspended sentence in Navalny’s case in July 2013.
According to investigators, while serving on a voluntary basis as an adviser to the Kirov Region governor, Navalny allegedly organized the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber from Kirovles between May and September 2009. He presumably acted in collusion with Vyatka Timber Company Director Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles CEO Vyacheslav Opalyov.
The regional budget is estimated to have suffered a loss of 16 million rubles ($514,140) as a result.
Alexei Navalny is an opposition politician and public leader and head of the Party of Progress. He ran in the 2013 mayoral elections in Moscow and writes one of the most popular sociopolitical blogs, which was put on the list of prohibited sources after allegedly encouraging people to participate in unauthorized public events.
Navalny was also implicated in several criminal cases. Currently, he is under house arrest in an embezzlement case at Yves Rocher Vostok, the company’s East Europe subsidiary that sued Alexei Navalny and his brother for fraud and money laundering.
Navalny is also suspected of embezzling funds from the Union of Right Forces. According to investigators, a company headed by Navalny allegedly embezzled about 100 million rubles (about $3 million), which was allocated to the neoliberal political party, the Union of Right Forces, several years ago.
Navalny denies all charges and says the allegations are politically motivated.