Moscow court refuses to increase damages in Kirovles embezzlement case
MOSCOW, July 3 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Kirovles company, asking to recover increased damages from opposition politician Alexey Navalny as part of the notorious embezzlement case, the press-service of the court has told RAPSI.
Kirovles asked Navalny and other defendants sentenced for embezzlement from the company, Petr Ofitserov and Vyacheslav Opalev, to compensate 16.1 million rubles ($254,700) of caused damage.
However, the Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow granted the lawsuit in part only and recovered 2.1 million rubles ($33,200) from the defendants. The company appealed the ruling insisting that the amount of caused damage should be recovered in full. In turn, a judge noted that the court took into account damage caused by the defendant as part of the criminal case, not as part of the evaluation of consequences for civil proceedings.
In March, the Supreme Court of Russia upheld a 5-year suspended sentence given to Alexey Navalny in the Kirovles embezzlement case.
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 Ofitserov, then Director of Vyatka Timber Company, and Kirovles CEO Opalyov were involved in the scheme. Proceedings against Opalyov were treated as a separated criminal case after he admitted his guilt.
Navalny was given a 5-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 4-year suspended sentence.
In February 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (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.
In November 2016, the Supreme Court overturned sentences against Navalny and Ofitserov and ordered retrial. The court delivered the ruling taking into consideration the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
In February 2017, Navalny was convicted of organizing embezzlement of 16 million rubles (about $280,000) at the Kirovles timber company for the second time and received a 5-year suspended sentence, while another defendant in the case, Petr Ofitserov, received a 4-year suspended sentence. Additionally, they were fined 500,000 rubles (about $8,500) each