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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, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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