MOSCOW, May 24 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Russian Justice Ministry has appealed against a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that granted compensations in amount of 56,000 euros and 30,000 euros for opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his accomplice Pyotr Ofitserov respectively in Kirovles embezzlement case, Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev told RAPSI on Wednesday.

“The Government appealed against the ECHR ruling on Kirovles case of February 23 at the last moment. Accordingly, it will not enter into effect until ECHR holds to dismiss or examine this complaint. The grounds for the complaint are unclear yet. In all likelihood, it is some technicality. It is apparent for anyone that the Strasbourg Court’s decision is very clear,” – Olga Mikhailova, Navalny’s lawyer, explained.

On February 23, 2016, ECHR published a ruling regarding Kirovles embezzlement case, claiming that Navalny’s and Ofitserov’s rights on a fair trial were violated. However, ECHR did not find a political motive in this case. ECHR ruled to compensate Navalny with 48,000 euro of legal costs and Ofitserov with 22,000 euro. Additionally Russia is to pay 8,000 euro each in damages.

Opposition politician Navalny was given a five-year suspended sentence in July 2013 for embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company. In May, Moscow's Lyublinsky District Court increased a probation period for him to 5.5 years in the case. Ofitserov received a four-year suspended sentence. Earlier, Vyacheslav Opalev, the former Kirovles CEO had sustained a conviction in the same case.

According to investigators, while serving on a voluntary basis as an adviser to the Kirov Region governor, Navalny allegedly organized the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber from Kirovles between May and September 2009. He presumably acted in collusion with Vyatka Timber Company Director Pyotr Ofitserov and Kirovles CEO Vyacheslav Opalyov.