Russia’s Justice cracks down against one of the fiercest critic of the Kremlin by: Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to five years in prison – for allegedly embezzling 10,000 cubic meters of wood.
Awaiting Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny five years in prison. his political. Career is practically over. The 37-year-old was speaking in Kirov, 900 kilometers east of Moscow, guilty of embezzlement.
Navalny had been admitted as a candidate for the mayoral election in Moscow on Wednesday, but would be able to compete only in the case of an acquittal. The judgment is not yet final. The defense announced appointment.
The court considered it proven that the lawyer and blogger has embezzled, 2009 in his time as a consultant to the liberal governor of the Kirov region of 10,000 cubic meters of wood. The total damage is said to be the equivalent of 400,000 euros. The prosecution had demanded even six years in prison.
The verdict was expected in Russia with great excitement. Even at night the Thursday before the courthouse more than a hundred reporters had gathered to occupy one of the 60 seats in the hall, as the Interfax news agency reported.
Navalny, the allegations in the course of the process back as a political staging. He has long criticized the policy of the Kremlin publicly on blogs and lectures and is regarded as one of the faces of the opposition. The process by which allegedly misappropriated wood is now the penalty for suspect his supporters. Civil Rights Legend Lyudmila Alexeyeva spoke of a “political process to end Nawalnys political career.”
“There is no evidence,” his defender Olga Michailova had emphasized in her closing argument. Witnesses had relieved their clients.
In Moscow, the authorities warned of possible opposition protests against a guilty verdict. There is no authorization for it, it said. The Russian security forces attack repeatedly cracked down on dissident protesters.
With the judgment Navalny also loses the right to political activity. President Putin earlier this year, a bill introduced in the Duma that prohibits convicts to stand for elections. While Navalny can continue to stand as a candidate for mayor in Moscow, he should remain at liberty. Until the judgment is final, the politician enjoys protection, said the choice in line with Moscow. However, it is a formal process. The vote will take place on 8 September.