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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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