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Over Half of Russians Say Navalny Trial is ‘Fixed’

Published: May 8, 2013 (Issue # 1758)


More than half of Russians believe that the government will put pressure on the court in the ongoing embezzlement trial of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and nearly half think he will be found guilty, according to a poll released Monday.

In addition, 44 percent of Russians are actively watching the trial at a Kirov court, where Navalny is accused of embezzling 16 million rubles ($500,000) from the state-owned company KirovLes when he served as an adviser to the Kirov governor in 2009, the independent Levada Center pollster said.

Of those surveyed, 33 percent heard of Navalny for the first time, even though Interfax reported earlier that Navalny was the fifth-most-mentioned person in the Russian media in April, the month his trial began. (President Vladimir Putin topped the list.)

Of those aware of the Navalny case, 52 percent think the government will put pressure on the judges, the survey said, according to Interfax. Forty-seven percent think he will be convicted, with 27 percent saying he will be jailed and 20 percent saying he will be handed a suspended sentence.

Navalny faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Only 5 percent believe that Navalny will be acquitted and the case dismissed for lack of evidence.

Some respondents think the government is using the case as a tool to demonstrate that he is corrupt (23 percent) or prevent Navalny from taking part in the next parliamentary and presidential elections (12 percent).

Navalny first made a name for himself as an anti-corruption blogger. Russian law prevents those with a police record from running for public office.

The Kirov court started the trial on Apr. 17, and the next hearing is scheduled for May 15.





 


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Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.