KIROV/MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian court handed down a guilty verdict Thursday morning for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a Moscow mayoral candidate and vocal Kremlin critic, sentencing him to five years in jail on embezzlement charges.
The court, in the city of Kirov, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) east of Moscow, found Navalny guilty of organizing an embezzlement scheme that cost a local state-owned company, KirovLes, some $500,000, by forcing it to sell timber at below-market prices when he served as an unpaid advisor to the Kirov Region’s governor in 2009.
Navalny, who has denounced the case as politically motivated, was cuffed by court marshals and led out of the courtroom shortly after the judge announced the sentence.
The conviction, unless overturned upon appeal, will prevent Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger well-known for leading large-scale anti-Kremlin protests, from running for public office.
“Navalny’s guilt has been proven by the testimony of witnesses,” judge Sergei Blinov read in a monotonous voice.
Now, people love to go ape over this case, and I am wondering, the charges against him - Bogus or not? I think people in and from Russia seems to have wild thoughts that only United Russia party is only capable of corruption and scams, but what about others? Isn't corruption a major issue in almost every sector in Russia? So what makes them so special over others? If guilty, then why are people so in love with him? Because he is a staunch Putin hater?