MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. A prosecutor’s office has upheld the demand of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service to change the suspended sentence of Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny in the Yves Rocher case to a real prison term.
"I fully support the petition of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service," a representative of the Lyublino District Prosecutor’s Office said.
A representative of the Federal Penitentiary Service said at a hearing in Moscow Lyublino District Court that Navalny regularly violates his responsibilities as a person under suspended sentence, that is, he does not report to the inspection on the expected days. "If a convicted person systematically violates the order or the duties assigned to him, the Federal Penitentiary Service has the right to demand changing a suspended sentence to a real prison term," she said.
Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev asked the court to reject the motion. "As for the last case, Navalny was away on vacation. I personally notified the inspection that he is on holiday and will report to the inspection as soon as he returns, which was done," he said.
"The probabtion period in the Yves Rocher case has never been extended," lawyer Olga Mikhailovskaya said. "Shortly after repeated failures to comply with the procedure the inspection immediately asked to replace a suspended sentence with a real prison term. The violations are insignificant. The Federal Penitentiary Service takes the case to court too often. Navalny reported to the inspection on the expected days for eight months, he never tried to avoid serving the sentence."
Navalny himself said he was on vacation, but the Federal Penitentiary Service does not think this is a reasonable excuse. "For many years I have reported to the Federal Penitentiary Service twice a month," he said. "I do have vacations or business trips occasionally, but I cannot leave Moscow for more than two weeks. I spent my vacation in Karelia and provided a written confirmation that I rented a cottage and went boating there."
On December 30, 2014, Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg were found guilty by Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court in the case on the embezzlement of Yves Rocher funds. Alexei got a 3.5-year suspended sentences, while his brother was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.