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KIROV, July 18 (Itar-Tass) - Opposition leader and candidate for Moscow mayor Alexei Navalny is sentenced to five years in prison for masterminding a property embezzlement scheme at the Kirovles enterprise on Thursday. The second defendant, former director of the limited liability company Vyatka Forest Company Pyotr Ofitserov was sentenced to four years in prison.
“Find Navalny guilty of the crimes under Article 33 Part 3 and Article 160 Part 4 of the Russian Criminal Code and sentence him to five years in a general security penitentiary, a fine of 500,000 roubles and without the limitation of freedom,” Judge Blinov stated. “Cancel the measure of restraint to Navalny in the form of recognizance not to leave the city and put the defendant in custody in the courtroom,” the judge said.
Pyotr Ofitserov was also fined 500,000 roubles.
The lawyers of Navalny and Ofitserov will appeal the verdict of the Leninsky District Court of Kirov.
“This verdict is unlawful, it will be appealed,” the lawyers stated.
The court verdict raised shock among people present in the courtroom, as many supporters of Navalny, his parents and his wife came for the pronouncement of the verdict from Moscow. They were initially sure of a suspended sentence to Navalny. After the pronouncement of the guilty verdict Navalny’s parents cried out in tears. The bailiffs permitted the convicts to say goodbye to their relatives, after that they were convoyed from the courtroom.
The detectives found that “Navalny, being an advisor of the governor in the Kirov Region, masterminded a property embezzlement scheme at the Kirov regional state-run unitary enterprise Kirovles, engaging in a conspiracy with director of the limited liability company Vyatka Forest Company Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles Director General Vyacheslav Opalev.” The detectives believe that from May to September 2009 the convicts have stolen over 10,000 cubic metres of timber, inflicting a damage of 16 million roubles to the budget of the Kirov Region.
On December 24, 2012, the Leninsky District Court of Kirov sentenced Opalev, who pleaded guilty and concluded an immunity agreement, to four years in suspension. During the investigation he “gave the detailed testimony over the details of the crime, which he committed with his accomplice Navalny,” the Russian Investigative Committee reported before.