Putin critic Navalny says his case should be returned to prosecutor
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 00:53
April 24 - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends his trial in Kirov, says his case should be returned to the prosecutor. Lily Grimes reports.
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Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny arrives in court on Wednesday.
He faces charges of theft which he says are politically motivated.
Navalny has suggested Putin ordered the trial on charges of stealing from a timber firm to sideline him as a potential presidential rival.
Human Rights Watch say this is part of a wider problem in Russia.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RACHEL DENBER, SAYING:
"It's been one year since Putin has come back to the Russian presidency, and in that year we've seen the worst crackdown ever on civil society in the post-Soviet era. It's a broad-ranging, all-out offence on basic civic freedoms that turns the clock way, way back in Russia."
If convicted Navalny could face up to 10 years in jail.
This is the fourth criminal case opened against Navalny in recent months.
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