VLADIMIR, April 14 (RAPSI) – The Oktyabrsky District Court  in Vladimir, a city about 200 kilometers east of Moscow, on Tuesday found Georgy Alburov, an associate of the opposition stalwart Alexei Navalny, guilty of theft of a painting and sentenced him to 240 hours of compulsory community service, RIA Novosti reported from the court.

Judge Yuri Yevtukhov said that Alburov’s guilt has been proved by witness testimony and other evidence. According to the judgment, Alburov has stolen the painting “Bad and Good Man” in order to present it to Navalny on his birthday.

Prosecutor Stepan Volodin earlier asked a three-year suspended sentence for Alburov. The defense asked the court to acquit Alburov. The defendant has pleaded not guilty.

The painting, “Bad and Good Man,” belongs to an artist who resides in Vladimir. It was on public display when it was stolen by unknown persons, according to investigators.

The painting was found in Navalny’s apartment in the summer of 2014. Navalny refused to testify in this case.
Alburov was charged with theft and placed under restriction notice in September 2014. In November, another associate of Navalny, Nikita Kulachenkov, was charged in this case in absentia.

Alexei Navalny is a Russian political and public figure, leader of the Party of Progress. He ran for Moscow mayor and is the author of one of the most popular political blogs that was banned for promoting unauthorized public protests. He has already been given two suspended sentences for embezzlement – five years in the Kirovles case and 3.5 years in the recent Yves Rocher Vostok case.