- Title: RUSSIA: Protest leader Navalny arrives to hear court verdict
- Date: 18th July 2013
- Summary: KIROV, RUSSIA (JULY 18, 2013) (REUTERS) TRAIN ARRIVING AT KIROV RAILWAY STATION RUSSIAN PROTEST LEADER ALEXEI NAVALNY DISEMBARKING TRAIN VARIOUS OF NAVALNY WITH HIS WIFE WALKING FROM TRAIN ON RAILWAY STATION PLATFORM PEOPLE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE COURTHOUSE SIGN PEOPLE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE POLICEMAN AND METAL SECURITY BARRIERS OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE COURTHOUSE WITH METAL SECURITY BARRIERS IN FRONT
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2013 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA4UKGZMBXLOPZ4HWWCE47SIP2
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny arrived in the city of Kirov early on Thursday (July 18) to hear a verdict in what is seen as the most prominent trial of an opposition figure in Russia since Soviet times.
Navalny, who emerged from anti-Putin protests last year as the opposition's most dynamic leader, could be sentenced to up to six years in jail on what he says are trumped-up charges of stealing 16 million roubles ($493,000) from a timber firm.
That would bar him from running for Moscow mayor in September against Sergei Sobyanin, a Putin favourite, and from contesting the presidential election in 2018, in which Putin, Russia's dominant leader for 13 years, could try to extend his rule until 2024.
Navalny, 37, arrived by train along with his wife and a few supporters and left the train station for the courthouse without making any comment.
He has kept a low profile in the last few days before the verdict in his trial in Kirov, an industrial city 900 km (550 miles) northeast of Moscow, saying he would prefer to spend time with his young family.
Navalny's trial has attracted more international attention than any other in Russia since oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed in 2005 on tax evasion and fraud charges after falling out with Putin.
Khodorkovsky's $40 billion company Yukos was then carved up and sold off, mainly into state hands, and he was convicted of theft and money-laundering in a second trial in 2010.
Navalny is accused over his role as adviser in 2009 to a timber company that went bankrupt in Kirov, where he was an aide to the liberal regional governor. He denies the charges.
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