On Monday, March 24, the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court’s decision to place anti-corruption crusader and opposition activist Alexey Navalny under house arrest.
Prosecutors argued that Navalny, charged with embezzlement, should be isolated after he violated a pledge to remain in Moscow as well as having participated in an unsanctioned protest in central Moscow, inciting chaos and resisting arrest.
The Basmanny District Court in Moscow granted the motion in late February, putting Navalny under house arrest in connection with the embezzlement case. Under the court order Navalny is prohibited from using communication devices, including the Internet.
Navalny and his brother Oleg stand accused in a fraud case involving cosmetics company Yves Rocher Vostok. Investigators allege that the Navalny brothers embezzled upwards of 26 million rubles ($730,000) from the cosmetics company, as well as more than 4 million rubles ($110,000) from the Multidisciplinary Processing Company by way of a fraud scheme. The brothers were further charged with having laundered 21 million rubles.
Alexey Navalny was already given a suspended sentence of five years in a different case for the embezzlement of funds from the state-run Kirovles timber company. Navalny repeatedly denied his involvement in the both cases, and they are widely believed to be politically motivated.
Author: Julia Alieva