Navalny keeps dealing with criminal charges in Kirovles case

Opposition blogger Alexei Navalny has been summoned to appear at the Investigative Committee on July 30 for an official indictment in Kirovles case, his lawyer Vadim Kobzev told Interfax.

"Alexei was summoned to appear at the Investigative Committee on Monday for the official indictment in the so-called Kirovles case," Kobzev said.

He knows that he will be charged under the Russian Criminal Code Article 165 paragraph 4 (causing material damage without signs of embezzlement), the lawyer said. The case has been investigated since December 2010 and Navalny has repeatedly given detailed evidence in the case, he said.

"According to the procedural rules, immediately after being indicted Alexei must be questioned as an accused. Naturally, he will plead not guilty to the charges," Kobzev said.

It is unclear whether investigators will request him to be remanded in custody, the lawyer said.

"If it had not been Navalny, anyone facing the same charges, which mean up to five years in prison, could count on bail. In our case, my understanding is that normal logic does not work here and anything might happen," the lawyer said.

In early May 2011, investigators launched a criminal case against Navalny under the Russian Criminal Code Article 165 (causing material damage by deceit). According to the inquiry, in 2009, Navalny, who was an advisor to the governor of the Kirov region at the time, committed a number of unlawful actions resulting in massive losses to the Kirov regional state company Kirovles.

A preliminary inquiry was launched in August 2009. In January 2011, investigators in the Kirov region completed the inquiry without charges. The Central Office of the Russian Investigative Committee overturned this decision and sent the dossier to its Volga Federal District office. In March 2011, Volga Federal District investigators closed the inquiry due to lack of incriminating evidence.

However, on May 29, 2012, senior officials in the Investigative Committee overturned the decision of Kirov regional investigators to drop criminal charges against the blogger.

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