The corruption fighter goes to jail for corruption is common when government officials are caught red-handed in the West. In Russia however it is often just the opposite–the corrupt get richer and the innocent go to jail. Activist attorney Alexei Navalny has uncovered plenty of corruption in Russia and in so doing has embarrassed the Kremlin to no end.
So when charged with stealing lumber from a state timber company in the Kirov region, it didn’t take long to figure that prosecutors has set up a staged trial. For starters, they charged him with “timber embezzlement” via “shipments free of charge” for a company in which he had been a former director. The most absurd charge was in the amount of timber supposedly stolen was more than all the timber produced in Kirov annually.
In his per-sentencing comments to the court on Friday, Navalny vowed to “destroy the feudal system” which “sits like a spider in the Kremlin.” State prosecutors have requested that he be sentenced to a prison term of six years.
We’re confident that in true Soviet form the prosecutors will add more charges and there will be more trials, thus extending his prison term long last the current government’s life span.
Judge Sergei Blinov set the date for sentencing on 18 July. Navalny is running for Mayor of Moscow but it is likely that the judge will set aside his candidacy.