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Opposition activist may face up to 10 years in prison in Kirovles case

March 20, 2013, 17:49 UTC+3
Alexei Navalny denied his guilt when finalized charges were brought against him on January 18
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MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) – The criminal case over property squandering against Opposition activist, lawyer Alexei Navalny, has been sent to a Kirov region court. "Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky has endorsed the indictment," Prosecutor General's Office spokesperson Marina Gridneva confirmed to Itar-Tass. If found guilty, the Opposition activist might face up to ten years in jail, and a fine up to one million roubles.

"Navalny is accused under Article 33, Part 3, and Article 160, Part 4 /masterminding misappropriation or squandering/, while Ofitserov is accused under Article 33, Part 5 and Article 160, Part 5 /abetting misappropriation or squandering/.

"The criminal case against Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov was sent to Kirov's Lenin district court for consideration on the merits," the press service of the Investigative Committee told Tass earlier on Wednesday.

Earlier, SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Tass that Navalny, as an advisor to the Kirov region governor, "arranged the theft of Kirovles company by entering in collusion with Vyatka Timber Company director Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles director general Vyacheslav Opalev."

The investigator believes that more than 10,000 cubic meters of timber were stolen in the period from May through September 2009, causing a 16-million-rouble damage to the regional budget.

On December 24, 2012, Kirov's Lenin district court gave Opalev a four-year suspended sentence. Opalev had pleaded guilty and signed a plea bargain agreement. "He gave detailed testimony regarding the circumstances of the crime committed in complicity with Navalny," the SK said.

Navalny and Ofitserov denied their guilt when finalized charges were brought against them on January 18, 2013.

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