Outspoken Putin critic Navalny charged with theft

Wed, Aug 1, 2012, 01:00

Investigators charged opposition blogger and protest leader Alexei Navalny with theft yesterday, threatening one of President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken opponents with a 10-year jail sentence. The federal investigative committee said that Mr Navalny had been charged over the theft of timber from a state firm while he was advising a regional governor in 2009 and ordered him to stay in Russia.

The charges followed a series of moves since Putin began a new six-year term as president in May which opponents depict as a crackdown on dissent. “I have been charged and ordered not to leave,” said Mr Navalny (36). His lawyers have said they expected he would be charged over the case in the Kirov province, which was first opened in 2010.