Friday, July 5, 2013

Prosecutors Request 6-Year Jail Term for Navalny

Prosecutors called for six years in prison and a fine of one million rubles ($30,000) for anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny on Friday in an ongoing embezzlement trial that his supporters say is designed to silence Russia's opposition. Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger who has led large-scale street protests in Moscow against Russian President Vladimir Putin, is accused of having been involved in a criminal group that allegedly stole $500,000 worth of timber from state-run lumber company Kirovles. His trial, which began in April and is now entering its final stages, is being held in the provincial city of Kirov – some 800 km (500 miles) from Moscow – where Navalny was working as an advisor to the Kirov region governor when the alleged embezzlement took place. Navalny, who denies the charges and claims they are politically motivated, is expected to make his closing arguments Friday.

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