Navalny to stand trial again in Kirovles embezzlement case on December 5
MOSCOW, November 24 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) - The Leninsky District Court of Kirov will start on December 5 a new trial of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny charged with embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company, his lawyer Vadim Kobzev told RAPSI on Thursday.
Navalny wrote on his social media pages that he is not going to attend the court.
Last week, Russia's Supreme Court overturned sentences against opposition politician Navalny and his accomplice Pyotr Ofitserov in Kirovles embezzlement case and sent it for retrial.
Russia's Supreme Court delivered the ruling taking into consideration the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Nevertheless, the ruling of the Supreme Court didn't meet expectations of both prosecutors and defense lawyers.
The ECHR ruled in February that Russia had violated Navalny's and and Ofitserov’s right to a fair trial.
In particular, according to ECHR, sentences against them were issued with numerous violations because of a lot of references being made regarding another defendant – Vyacheslav Opalyov. Proceedings against Opalyov were treated as a separated criminal case after he admitted his guilt.
Additionally, ECHR noted that Russian courts failed to review claims by defense that Kirovles case may have a political motive behind it and did not provide adequate evaluations of such claims. ECHR itself did not find a political motive in the case. The court ruled to compensate Navalny with 48,000 euro of legal costs and Ofitserov with 22,000 euro. Additionally, Russia is to pay 8,000 euro each in damages.
Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a request seeking referral of the case to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR, but the request was dismissed.
Navalny was given a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company in July 2013. In May, Moscow's Lyublinsky District Court increased a probation period for him to 5.5 years. Ofitserov received a four-year suspended sentence.
According to investigators, while serving on a voluntary basis as an adviser to the Kirov Region governor Navalny organized the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber from Kirovles company between May and September 2009.
Investigators claimed that Pyotr Ofitserov, then Director of Vyatka Timber Company, and Kirovles CEO Vyacheslav Opalyov were involved in the scheme.