Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Navalny Faces New Charges

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is facing fresh charges of embezzlement over an alleged scheme to defraud a local branch of cosmetics manufacturer Yves Rocher, investigators said Tuesday. The Investigative Committee said in a statement that Navalny and his brother, Oleg, swindled Yves Rocher out of 26 million rubles ($812,000) and laundered 21 million rubles. The prospect of further legal troubles for the outspoken Kremlin critic follows a mild reprieve in mid-October when a court in the city of Kirov revoked a prison term for separate fraud charges, instead imposing a suspended sentence. Moscow City Court earlier this month turned down a motion by the Navalny brothers to dismiss the case against them. The Investigative Committee had in December 2012 accused the Navalnys of embezzling over 55 million rubles from a trading company that was subsequently revealed to be the Russian operation of French cosmetic giant Yves Rocher. Oleg Navalny is accused of using his senior position with Russia's Postal Service to manipulate Yves Rocher into entering into a contractual agreement for cargo mail transportation with a private mailing service in which Alexei Navalny was registered as founder.

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