Court to pass sentence on Navalny's case on July 18

The Kirov Leninsky District Court will officially sentence opposition activist Alexei Navalny on charges of embezzlement from the Kirovles company on July 18.

The Kirov Leninsky District Court will officially sentence opposition activist Alexei Navalny on charges of embezzlement from the Kirovles company on July 18.

The date was announced on Friday after the defense and prosecution completed their arguments, the Interfax correspondent reported.

The prosecutor asked to find Navalny guilty and to sentence him to six years in a general regime penal colony. Defendants say the trial is politicized and illegal, and ask that they be acquitted.

The Kirovles trial began on April 17.

According to investigators, one of the opposition leaders, Navalny, while working as an advisor to the Kirov region governor, colluded with Vyatka Timber Company Director Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles General Director Vyacheslav Opalev and organized the embezzlement of Kirovles timber company's property.

In December, Opalev was given a suspended sentence of four years with three years of probation. State prosecutor Yevgeny Cheremisinov told Interfax that Opalev had concluded a pre-trial cooperation agreement and that his case received special consideration.

The governor of the Kirov region, Nikita Belykh, was questioned during the trial.

Investigators believe that over 10,000 cubic meters of wood products belonging to Kirovles were stolen in May-September 2009. As a result, the regional budget sustained losses of more than 16 million rubles.

Navalny is charged under the Russian Criminal Code Article 160 Part 3, the organization of large-scale misappropriation.

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