29 October 2013, 19:30

Embezzlement, fraud, money laundering: Navalny indicted - Investigative Committee

Embezzlement, fraud, money laundering: Navalny indicted - Investigative Committee

The Russian Investigative Committee has confirmed that popular anti-corruption blogger and one of the leaders of the non-systemic opposition Alexei Navalny has been indicted for embezzlement of funds belonging to the cosmetic firm Yves Rocher Vostok and embezzlement and laundering of funds belonging to the Mutiprofile Processing Company.

"The Investigative Committee's main investigations department has presented the final indictment against Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg for committing embezzlement of funds belonging to OOO Yves Rocher Vostok in the sum of over 26 million roubles and to OOO Multiprofile Processing Company in the sum of over 4 million roubles (Russian Criminal Code Article 159), and the legalization of money to the amount of over 21 million roubles (Russian Criminal Code Article 174.1)," the Investigative Committee said.

"The Investigative Committee plans to complete its investigation into this criminal case and present the documents to the aggrieved parties, the defendants, and their defenders in the near future," it said.

The Investigative Committee reported earlier that it was investigating a criminal case dealing with embezzlement of Yves Rocher Vostok's funds.

It was reported earlier that, according to the investigation's findings, Alexei Navalny had set up a company called the Main Subscription Agency, and his brother Oleg, serving as chief of Russian Post's domestic postal services department in 2008, persuaded an Yves Rocher Vostok representative to conclude a shipping contract with the Main Subscription Agency. The investigation believes the brothers embezzled about 55 million roubles that Yves Rocher Vostok paid for the Main Subscription Agency's transportation services. The criminal case was opened in December 2012.

Kirov court changes Alexey Navalny's 5-year prison term to a suspended one

The Kirov Regional Court has replaced the real jail time earlier given to Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov for embezzlement of property belonging to the state-run timber company Kirovles by a suspended sentence.

"The Criminal Board of the Kirov Regional Court considered a criminal case on the appeals of Alexei Navalny, Pyotr Ofitserov and their defenders against a July 2013 sentence by the Leninsky District Court of Kirov in an open judicial hearing on October 16 and ruled to amend Navalny's sentence and replace his and Pyotr Ofitserov's punishment in the form of imprisonment by a suspended sentence with a probation period of five years for each," the judge said.

The Kirov Regional Court proclaimed that only the findings on Wednesday, and the full version of the ruling including the motives the court was guided by in amending the sentence will be available on Friday.

Alexei Navalny is not satisfied with his 5-year suspended sentence. He says his team is going to appeal the sentence.

Alleviated punishment of Navalny is not president's prerogative - Peskov

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov does not think that the opinion of the chief of state could have alleviated the punishment of opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

"We do not think so. This is not a question for the president," Peskov said on Wednesday.

Navalny may be subject to planned amnesty - Human Rights Council head

Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, whom the Kirov Regional Court gave a five-year suspended prison sentence on Wednesday for embezzlement of assets belonging to the state-run timber company Kirovles, may be subject to the amnesty that the State Duma is expected to announce soon, Russian Presidential Human Rights Council head Mikhail Fedotov said.

"Judging by the sentence, he has committed a nonviolent crime that did not entail grave and irreversible consequences, and so he may be subject to amnesty," he said.

"Amnesty is a non-individualized act, and it is applied to categories of convicts rather than to individuals. But the crime of which Navalny and [Pyotr] Ofitserov have been found guilty falls into this category," he said.

The Human Rights Council forwarded proposals to the president on Tuesday on a draft amnesty bill that the Duma is supposed to announce to mark the 20th anniversary of the constitution.

President Vladimir Putin earlier asked the Human Rights Council to draw up such proposals.

Navalny won't quit politics despite Kirovles sentence

Opposition activist Alexei Navalny says he will not quit politics despite the five-year suspended sentence given to him.

"Neither my colleagues nor I will stop our political struggle. It will go on," Navalny told reporters after the Kirov Regional Court had pronounced its judgment.

"Our primary efforts should focus on putting pressure on the authorities so that people kept under much worse conditions than I be released from custody. At least, we have demonstrated that pressure on the authorities was possible and a wrongful sentence could be replaced with a suspended one," he said.

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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