News / Europe

Alexei Navalny Charged; Faces 10 Years in Prison

Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media after leaving the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow, July 31, 2012.Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media after leaving the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow, July 31, 2012.
x
Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media after leaving the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow, July 31, 2012.
Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media after leaving the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow, July 31, 2012.
MOSCOW — Prominent anti-Kremlin blogger Alexei Navalny has been charged with stealing state property from a government timber company in 2009.  If convicted, he faces a 10 year prison term. Navalny has been a major force behind recent protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, explained the charges on state-run television.

He says that the investigation suggests that from May to September 2009, more than 10,000 cubic meters of timber belonging to the state was stolen. He says the theft amounted to more than 16 million rubles, or nearly $500,000.

Accusations denied

Navalny, a practicing lawyer in his 30's, says it is ridiculous the Kremlin is accusing him of stealing timber.

He says they now accuse me of stealing 16 million rubles and I can face up to ten years on these charges. This is a mega-strange thing. Even the very figure of 16 million rubles has not been explained at all.

The prosecutor’s office says the investigation focuses on events in 2009 when Navalny served as an advisor to the governor of the Kirov region. Prosecutors say that he worked with timber company officials to steal.

Navalny faced similar allegations in the past, but that case was closed earlier this year, due to a lack of evidence.  He says this case is equally puzzling.

Navalny says he has been charged and ordered not to leave the city.  Actually, he says, the whole thing is very absurd and very strange because they have completely changed the essence of the accusation, compared to what it was before.

New charges

The new charges leveled against Navalny carry a heavier sentence than the earlier charges that were dismissed.

The anti-corruption blogger spearheaded several unprecedented rallies against President Vladimir Putin. Hundreds of thousands of protesters came out to rally against the president. Demonstrators say he runs the country through a tightly controlled political system and corruption -- charges Mr. Putin denies.

Some analysts say the charges against Navalny are the Kremlin’s way of dealing with dissent.

The Russian parliament has passed a law that would increase fines significantly for those participating in and organizing unsanctioned protests. Some of the fines are much more than the average Russian earns in a year.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike
July 31, 2012 5:51 PM
Navalny is young and very popular oppositionist to Putin's regime. Russian Tsar Putin is afraid of the popularity Navalny and Putin will do everything necessary to throw Navalny in jail or even kill him.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid