MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) - The court verdict to blogger and candidate for Moscow mayor Alexei Navalny should be toughened, when the appeal against the verdict will be tried, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters on Tuesday.
On July 18, the Leninsky court in Kirov found Navalny guilty of masterminding a massive property embezzlement scheme at the enterprise Kirovles and sentenced him to five years in a general security penitentiary with a fine of 500,000 roubles and without the limitation of freedom. Meanwhile, the Kirov regional prosecutor’s office appealed the July 18 court verdict over the putting of Navalny in custody, believing that “he can stay on recognizance not to leave the city until the verdict takes effect.” On July 19, the Kirov regional court satisfied an appeal from the regional prosecutor’s office and released Navalny on recognizance not to leave the city.
Comparing the trials against Navalny and former governor of the Tula region Vyacheslav Dudka (on July 22, he was sentenced to 9.5 years in a high security penitentiary for taking a 40-million bribe), Zhirinovsky said, “A clear signal was given regarding Dudka that notwithstanding the occupied post, all people found guilty of the crimes, particularly corruption, can be sentenced to the longest prison terms.” “In this case the sum of bribe is 40 million roubles, the prison term is 9.5 years and the stripping of the right to hold public posts for three years. And he (Dudka) is not the first one, Governor Sevryugin was before him, he was imprisoned as well,” he recalled. “Thus, the authorities do not protect those who commit crimes,” the politician pointed out.
However, Navalny, “participating in the embezzlement of 16 million roubles that is a particularly big sum, is sentenced to a much shorter term in prison and a much lower fine that he should have been sentenced,” the Liberal Democrat leader went on to say. “And the uproar is stirred up throughout the country and nearly the whole world. The governor goes to prison in the handcuffs, and Alexei Navalny is here, as something should be revised in his case,” he said, being puzzled over the issue. “We still should ponder it over who these ‘good prosecutors’ are. They were putting everybody in prison, but now they took a softer stand unexpectedly and made a statement just several minutes later to change the measure of restraint already on the next morning,” Zhirinovsky laid down his vision of the situation.
“Judge Blinov did all correctly, he should be conferred with the title of honorary lawyer of Russia ahead of time,” LDPR leader, who holds this honorary title, said with confidence. “But we realize who Navalny is. We see what uproar was fanned up in the West, the United States and Germany,” he stated. “He is an adventurer and a swindler connected with the U.S. security services. America says to us: why do you encroach on our agent?” Zhirinovsky said with confidence.
“The term in prison is small. The term in prison should be increased to its maximum possible term of ten years,” the leader of the LDPR Party said with confidence. “The court can do it when the appeal will be tried. Another criminal case over fraudulent schemes in the Post of Russia is about to be tried,” Zhirinovsky said. “If investigating closely the activity of this Navalny, there are only crimes in his activity, he should be sentenced to a very long term in prison, forget about the elections and forget about politics. But he is a candidate for Moscow mayor,” the lawmaker said with indignation.
“Meanwhile, not only Washington and Brussels support him, but there are some forces in his support in Moscow. People signed up in his support as well as for Gudkov (a candidate for the post of the governor of the Moscow region Gennady Gudkov),” Zhirinovsky pointed out. “Therefore, it is unpleasant to see people who go out in defence of Navalny. We know that the majority of those who go out in his support are just curious people. It is due to the summer, heat and vacations. I went out for rallies myself. This was a real spectacle,” he said.
“Therefore, the verdict of the Kirov court is correct, it is a pity that prosecutors have made a hasty decision and have made a mistake,” the politician underlined. “But in some period of time, in 30 days at most, I believe that the court verdict will take effect, and Navalny will be brought to serve the sentence there, where Khodorkovsky is serving it,” he predicts. “The fifth column cannot calm down. If you go into politics, you should have an unstained biography,” Zhirinovsky said with regret.