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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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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