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Trial of Navalny aims to discredit political activist - lawyers

July 05, 2013, 15:38 UTC+3

The district court prosecutor demanded on Friday six years in prison for opposition blogger Alexei Navalny

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MOSCOW, July 5 (Itar-Tass) - The defence of opposition blogger Alexei Navalny believes the court trial by the Kirov Leninsky District Court is politically motivated and illegal.

“This criminal proceeding does not meet the aims of justice, while pursues the political aim to publically discredit and hold criminally responsible a renowned public and political activist,” Navalny’s lawyer Olga Mikhailova said on Friday during the presentation of the case.

She noted that the public prosecutor had no proof of Navalny’s guilt as well as accused the prosecutor of wrongly interpreting the evidence. According to her, most witnesses for the prosecution testified in favor of the defense.

She stressed that the activity of Navalny proceeded strictly within the framework of his powers as Kirov region governor’s advisor on a voluntary basis. According to her, Governor Nikita Belykh said in court that Navalny could only “analyze, give advice, check, offer, but he had no real authorities”. The defense also believes that “the acquaintance of Ofitserov and Navalny is not a proof of their criminal collusion with an aim of embezzlement from Kirovles (state owned timber company)”. Besides, the State Property Department has not brought any action for damage.

The lawyer drew attention of the judge to the fact that the defense was not allowed to carry out important expertise on the case, which the court considered inexpedient as expertise had already been carried out in the pretrial investigation. Meanwhile, “on the basis of the carried out expertise, earlier the criminal case against Navalny was about to be dismissed”.

“I draw attention of the court that the accusation of Navalny has no legal grounds and is purely politically motivated,” she said asking for the not guilty verdict.

The district court prosecutor demanded on Friday six years in prison for Navalny charged with stealing from Kirovles.

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