Navalny appeals new sentence in Kirovles embezzlement case
MOSCOW, February 17 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny and his accomplice Pyotr Ofitserov have appealed their new sentences in Kirovles embezzlement case, RAPSI learnt from Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev.
On February 8, Navalny was found guilty of organizing embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company and received a 5-year suspended sentence, while another defendant in the case, Pyotr Ofitserov, received a 4-year suspended sentence. Additionally, they were fined 500,000 rubles ($8,500) each. According to Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh, he has already paid the 500,000-ruble fine in the case following the first trial.
The court held that their guilt had been proven.
Earlier, prosecutor demanded a 5-year suspended sentence for Navalny and a 4-year suspended term for Ofitserov. The court was also asked to impose fines on both defendants. Defense in turn urged to acquit Navalny and Ofitserov.
Navalny in his final speech pleaded not guilty and said that the case against him had been framed up. He added that he would appeal guilty verdict in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and Russia’s Supreme Court.
In November, the Supreme Court overturned sentences against Navalny and Ofitserov in Kirovles embezzlement case and sent it for retrial. The court delivered the ruling taking into consideration the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
In February 2016, ECHR held that the applicants’ right to a fair trial had been violated and ordered Russian authorities to compensate Navalny with €48,000 of legal costs and Ofitserov with €22,000. Additionally, Russia was obliged by court 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 Strasbourg Court, but it was dismissed.
Navalny was given a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company in July 2013. Later, 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. Proceedings against Opalyov were treated as a separated criminal case after he had admitted his guilt.