Thursday, July 18, 2013

Navalny Convicted

A Russian court handed down a guilty verdict Thursday morning for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a Moscow mayoral candidate and vocal Kremlin critic, on embezzlement charges. The court, in the city of Kirov, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Moscow, found Navalny guilty of organizing the embezzlement of about $500,000 worth of lumber from state-owned company KirovLes. It is not yet clear whether Navalny will receive a jail term or a suspended sentence. But the conviction, unless overturned upon appeal, will prevent him from running for public office. Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger well-known for leading mass protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin, has denounced the charges as politically motivated.  The judge is continuing to pronounce the sentence; the process is broadcast online. (online video)

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