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Leader of protest movement summoned for questioning

July 30, 2012, 13:43 UTC+3

Alexei Navalny received the summon immediately after he published information with accusations against SK head Alexander Bastrykin

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MOSCOW, July 30 (Itar-Tass) — On Monday, the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) will question one of the leaders of the protest movement – Alexei Navalny in the case of causing damage to the Kirovles company. The oppositionist received the summon immediately after he published information with accusations against SK head Alexander Bastrykin. Meanwhile, it became known that the opposition is preparing a new unauthorised action on August 6.

Kommersant recalls that the pre-investigation checks against the opposition member were initiated by a report to law enforcement authorities made by former director of the Kirovles state unitary enterprise Vyacheslav Opalev. He claimed that Navalny when he was an advisor to Kirov governor Nikita Belykh in the period from 2009 to 2010 “by fraud and breach of trust” made him conclude a disadvantageous contract on the supply of timber with Vyatka Forest Company. The damage was estimated at 1.3 million roubles. The results of the probe were several times passed from the regional SK offices to the central office and then returned for finalisation: Kirov investigators have found no crime signs in the actions of Navalny. Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin ordered to reopen the case against Alexei Navalny after an expanded meeting of the SK board in St. Petersburg on July 5. “You had a criminal case against this man and you terminated it on the sly!” Bastrykin shouted at his subordinates.

The oppositionist last weekend responded with a publication in his Internet blog of materials suggesting that Bastrykin has a business and residence in the Czech Republic, which, in his opinion, testifies to the fact that the official violated the law himself. According to Kommersant, Navalny started to look for incriminating evidence against the SK head almost immediately after Bastrykin’s speech at the SK board meeting.

“On Monday, Navalny will become a defendant, because he was summoned for bringing charges,” the oppositionist’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev told Novye Izvestia. “This is an unusual, political case, so it is difficult to predict whether it will be an arrest, recognisance not to leave or bail, but in any case one of the measures will be taken.” The lawyer specified that the charges are to be brought under the RF Criminal Code article “causing damage to property by fraud or breach of trust,” the punishment under which is from 2 to 5 years’ imprisonment. “What will happen on Monday is the direct consequence of Bastrykin’s words at the July 5 meeting when he publicly scolded Kirov investigators,” Kobzev said.

Meanwhile, Nezavisimaya Gazeta has learnt that a group of opposition activists is preparing for an unsanctioned rally called “Day of Mourning over the Bolotnaya Case.” According to the plan of the organisers who for obvious reasons asked not to disclose their names, it is to be staged in Moscow’s Red Square on August 6. The action participants are invited to come to the square with white or black ribbons on their clothes. It is not planned to get the permission for this action from the city authorities.

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