Oppositionists Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov have once again been found guilty of embezzlement in the Kirovles case. Their sentence will be announced later in the day on Wednesday.
Earlier, the prosecution requested that Navalny be sentenced to five years in prison and Ofitserov to four years. In addition, the prosecutor's office requested that both be fined 500,000 rubles (approximately $8,406).
Navalny himself ruled out the possibility of acquittal and appeared at court with a bag prepared for jail.
During the first Kirovles trial, Navalny and Ofitserov received suspended sentences on charges of fraud. The case was sent for review to the European Court of Human Rights, which came to the conclusion that Navalny and Ofitserov had been prosecuted for actions that are in no way exceptional in daily business proceedings.
In the retrial, the charges remained the same. Judge Alexei Vtyurin refused to call in all of the defense’s witnesses, claiming, instead, that all of the information was already contained in the case file.
Navalny and Ofitserov were found guilty of forcing the leadership of Kirovles of selling them timer at a low price and then resold the same timber at a profit, resulting in 16 million rubles (then approximately $515,000; today approximately $268,856) worth of damages for the company. In the first trial of Navalny, was sentenced to five years’ probation and Ofitserov to four years, though the prosecution requests that the defendants be imprisoned.