KIROV, May 30 (RAPSI) – The Kirov Regional Court on Thursday dismissed the complaint filed by Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov against its refusal to hear the case of the alleged embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company in Moscow, RIA Novosti correspondent reports from court.

The court ruled on April 15 that the hearing of the Kirovles embezzlement case should continue at the Leninsky District Court of Kirov, dismissing the appeal of Navalny’s and Ofitserov’s attorneys to transfer it to Moscow.

Judge Svetlana Kashtanyuk said when reading out the complaint that Navalny and Ofitserov had asked the court to invalidate its April 15 decision and to transfer their case to the Basmanny District Court of Moscow.

The defendants argued that they and their attorneys live in Moscow, which Navalny has been obliged not to leave, and claimed that their attorneys had not been notified about the upcoming hearing of their complaint in due time.

“The decision was completely legal and substantiated and so should not be invalidated or amended,” the prosecutor said.

The judges debated the issue and ruled to dismiss the complaint.

According to the investigators, Navalny organized the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber while serving as a voluntary adviser to the governor of the Kirov Region.

The timber was allegedly stolen from Kirovles between May and September 2009 in collusion with Ofitserov, the director of the Vyatka Timber Company, and Kirovles CEO Vyacheslav Opalyov. The regional budget shortfall resulting from the transaction has been estimated at 16 million rubles ($510,906).

If convicted, Navalny and Ofitserov face up to 10 years in prison. They will also be ineligible for any kind of civil service, even if they only receive probation. Opalyov, who made an agreement with the prosecution, has received a four-year suspended sentence.