A Russian district court has given opposition figure Aleksey Navalny a five-year suspended sentence in a high-profile embezzlement case that stretches back almost a decade, which may undermine the activist’s presidential ambitions.
In the opening statement of the proceedings at the Leninsky District Court in Kirov, Judge Aleksey Vtyurin said that Navalny “organized the crime” and was “acting out of profit motives.”
The judge sentenced Navalny to five years suspended and his co-defendant Pyotr Ofitserov to four years suspended. Navalny and Ofitserov will also have to pay fines of 500,000 roubles (about US$8,500 at current rates) each. The punishment coincided with what the prosecution had asked for and was the same as in the first trial.