- Title: RUSSIA: Court finds protest leader Navalny guilty of theft
- Date: 18th July 2013
- Summary: KIROV, RUSSIA (JULY 18, 2013) (REUTERS) COURTHOUSE PEOPLE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE RUSSIAN FLAG OVER COURTHOUSE COURTHOUSE SIGN POLICE CARS OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE PEOPLE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE NOTICE OF NAVALNY'S VERDICT OUTSIDE COURTROOM PEOPLE IN COURTROOM CAMERA OPERATORS RUSSIAN PROTEST LEADER ALEXEI NAVALNY ENTERING COURTROOM SECURITY OFFICER LOOKING ON NAVALNY SMILING NAVALNY AND OTHER PEOPLE STANDING UP UPON JUDGE'S ENTRANCE JUDGE DELIVERING GUILTY VERDICT NAVALNY LOOKING ON PEOPLE IN COURTROOM
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2013 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5LXHODWTSUR9H98H3BVU605GO
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of stealing from a state timber company on Thursday (July 18), a verdict that could prevent him challenging Vladimir Putin for the presidency.
Prosecutors have asked the court to jail Navalny for six years, a term that would keep him in prison until after the next presidential election in 2018. Judge Sergei Blinov was expected to hand down a sentence later on Thursday at the trial in the city of Kirov, 900 km (550 miles) northeast of Moscow.
Navalny, who emerged from rallies against Putin last year as the opposition's most dynamic leader, stood silent with a puzzled expression on his face as he was found guilty.
The tall and clean-cut anti-corruption campaigner, 37, then exchanged wry smiles with his wife, Yulia, who stood behind him in court. He sent tweets on his mobile phone while standing in front of the judge in a courtroom packed with journalists and opposition activists.
Navalny says the charge - organising a scheme to steal at least 16 million roubles ($494,400) from a state timber firm when he was advising the Kirov region governor in 2009 - is politically motivated because of his opposition to Putin.
The crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Navalny is the most prominent opposition leader to be tried in Russia since Soviet times.
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