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MOSCOW, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Basmanny court on Wednesday will consider the complaint by blogger Alexei Navalny regarding the decision to reopen the probe into the criminal case over the squandering of the Kirovles company's property.
On July 31, the Investigation Committee charged Navalny with masterminding the squandering of Kirovles' property under Article 33, Part 3 and article 160, Part 4 "abetting misappropriation or squandering committed by organized group in especially large amount." The maximum penalty under this article is up to ten years in jail with a possible additional fine of up to one million roubles.
The SK released Navalny on recognizance. It will be a second probe into the case resumed in late May 2012. Earlier, the charges were brought under Article 165, Part 3 /causing property damage through fraud or abuse of trust in the absence of the signs of theft/. The maximum penalty is up to five years in prison.
On April 10, the probe was dropped due to the lack of corpus delicti. Navalny is now facing more serious charges.
The investigators said Navalny had committed a number of illegitimate actions, which caused large damage to the Kirovles state unitary enterprise in 2009.
As the governor's aide, Navalny masterminded the theft of Kirovles property by entering in collusion with Vyatskaya Timber Company Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles director general Vyacheslav Opalev.
In the period from May through September 2009, they stole more than 10,000 cubic meters of timber belonging to Kirovles. Their actions caused damage to the regional budget estimated at over 16 million roubles.
Pre-investigation check into Navalny's actions began in December 2010, and criminal proceedings were opened in May 2011, after the SK's main office twice overturned the resolutions by its regional branch not to open the criminal cases.
The decision to drop the probe was criticized by SK chief Alexander Bastrykin.
Navalny is known by placing compromising materials against large companies and banks on the Internet. The mass media said Navalny is a minority shareholder of many companies, so he has access to a number of documents.
The blogger earlier said the criminal case against him had been fabricated and that it had no trial prospects.