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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid