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 British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid