MOSCOW, March 6 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Kirovsky Regional Court will hear an appeal against sentence of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who has earlier been found guilty in Kirovles embezzlement case for the second time, RAPSI learnt from the court’s press-service on Monday.

On February 8, Navalny was convicted of organizing embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company for the second time and received a 5-year suspended sentence, while another defendant in the case, Pyotr Ofitserov, received a 4-year suspended sentence. Additionally, they were fined 500,000 rubles ($8,500) each.

Navalny claimed not guilty and said that he is going to appeal the sentence with the Russian Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In November, the Supreme Court overturned sentences against Navalny and Ofitserov in Kirovles embezzlement case and sent it for retrial. The court delivered the ruling taking into consideration the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

In February 2016, ECHR held that the applicants’ right to a fair trial had been violated and ordered Russian authorities to compensate Navalny with €48,000 of legal costs and Ofitserov with €22,000. Additionally, Russia was obliged by court to pay 8,000 euro each in damages.

On February 21, 2017, lawyers representing Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny asked the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to “exercise any and all available options to assist in the execution of the judgment”.

Navalny was given a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement at the Kirovles timber company in July 2013. Later, Moscow's Lyublinsky District Court increased a probation period for him to 5.5 years. Ofitserov received a four-year suspended sentence.

According to investigators, while serving on a voluntary basis as an adviser to the Kirov Region governor Navalny organized the theft of over 10,000 cubic meters of timber from Kirovles company between May and September 2009.

Investigators claimed that Pyotr Ofitserov, then Director of Vyatka Timber Company, and Kirovles CEO Vyacheslav Opalyov were involved in the scheme. Proceedings against Opalyov were treated as a separated criminal case after he had admitted his guilt.