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Court prolongs Navalny’s probation period in Yves Rocher case

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service numerously requested the court to replace Navalny’s suspended sentence with a real prison term

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. A court in Moscow on Friday sustained the federal penitentiary service’s request to prolong opposition figurehead Aleksey Navalny’s period of probation in the Yves Rocher case by twelve months, a TASS correspondent reports from the courtroom.

"The court ruled the penitentiary service’s request should be sustained and Navalny’s probation period prolonged by twelve months till December 30, 2020," Judge Svetlana Tumanina said.

Navalny on June 12 committed legal abuse described in Part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences (rules of holding rallies), for which he was sentenced to an administrative arrest for 25 days. Also, on August 3 the court found Navalny guilty under the same article and fined him 300,000 rubles. For preventing Navalny from committing more legal violations the court was asked to prolong his probation by one year to six years.

On December 30, 2014 Aleksey Navalny and his brother Oleg were found guilty of embezzling Yves Rocher’s assets. Aleksey was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. The sentence was suspended and a five-year probation period established. Oleg received a real term of three and a half years.

Parties’ arguments

The spokeswoman for the penitentiaries watchdog said that Navalny had systematically violated the terms of the suspended sentence.

"Navalny reports for registration only when he finds it convenient, and not when he is obliged to," the inspectorate’s official said.

Navalny’s lawyers protested the prolongation of Navalny’s probation period.

"My client has strictly complied with all of his obligations, he compensated for the plaintiff’s losses and also paid the administrative fine imposed on him earlier," said lawyer Vadim Kobzev. "He is not a debaucher, alcoholic or drug addict."

Navalny said he had a job and was not registered as a patient of the psycho-neurological dispensary and was generally a law-abiding citizen.

"The penitentiary service’s request looks rather strange. I was obliged to report there twice a month. I comply with this instruction. No objective reasons for prolonging the period of probation were presented in court," he said.