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One more criminal case opened against oppositionist Navalny

December 17, 2012, 11:32 UTC+3

Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg are accused of fraud and money laundering

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Last Friday, spokesman for the Russian Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin stated that another criminal case was opened against Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg. They are accused of fraud and money laundering.

Alexei Navalny has founded the open limited liability company “Main Press Subscription Agency”, and his brother Oleg, working as the head of the domestic mail delivery department of the Post of Russia Company, talked his client – a foreign company – into concluding a contract on cargo shipments with this open limited liability company.

The main press subscription agency did not have the fleet of transportation vehicles, and the transportation company has made its cargo delivery. Both Navalny brothers are suspects in this criminal case, Markin said. Oleg Navalny claimed after the interrogation that he does not understand yet what he is suspected of.

The subcontract in Russia is a very widespread practice, Igor Nikolayev from FBK told the newspaper, warning that he will not comment on this concrete criminal case. In his view, ungrounded claims can have a negative impact on the investment climate in the country.

It can hardly be understood from Markin’s statement what are concrete accusations against the Navalny brother, lawyer Yuri Gervis claimed: there is a contractor and there is a subcontractor, the first one always gets more than the second one.

“The transportation services is not the trade of medicines, the average profit is not set in this case, and the criminal case is looking like the Soviet struggle against speculation,” the expert believes.

The newspaper recalled that this is already the second criminal case against Alexei Navalny, as last June he was accused of misappropriation in the Kirovles Company.

“Navalny was not arrested, because there is a political decision to arrest only rank-and-file and almost unknown participants in the protesting movement, while the opposition leaders should be kept anxious and should be ousted abroad, particularly with all new criminal cases against them,” a source of the newspaper in the law enforcement agencies claimed.

Head of the Foundation of Efficient Politics Gleb Pavlovsky believes that the criminal case against Navalny is politically biased, the Izvestia daily reported. The difference between the criminal case against Alexei Navalny and the criminal case against Mikhail Khodorkovsky ten years ago is that then the Kremlin did not grant the current autonomy and independence to the Russian Investigation Committee.

In reply to critical remarks by Navalny and many lawyers and political experts that the criminal case against the latter lacks the injured party, Markin told the Izvestia daily that his agency received a petition from the foreign trading company. The name of the company is not made public so that the company would not sustain any losses to its image, Markin explained. However, Yves Rocher is the official injured party now. The Russian subsidiary of the international perfumes company (Yves Rocher East) confirmed that they turned for the protection of their interests in the criminal case against the Navalny brothers.

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