The NAVALNY Thread

Discussion in 'Russian Politics' started by José Moreira, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. José Moreira

    José Moreira High Commissar Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    I am puzzled about what Navalny is actually acused of. Can someone point me towards an explanation of the prosecution case?

    I am quite willing to belive he is guilty, after all he is a politician AND a lawyer. :)
  2. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    Hi José,

    Here is a short and hopefully objective intro to the case.

    The prosecution case is that Navalny and Ofitserov (co-accused who got 4 years) set up a shell company through and forced subsidiaries of Kirovles, the state lumber company they were tasked with advising on "reform," to rewrite their contracts so as to sell not their customers but to the shell company directly but at lowered prices (7% lower, to be precise). What's inconvenient is that Kirovles went bankrupt (however, it was undoubtedly a corrupt and loss-making structure anyway), and when it did the shell company still owed it some $100,000 or so.

    The defense is that they were trying to rationalize the enterprise, that they didn't personally enrich themselves, that the fact that they called for an audit of Kirovles attests to their good intentions, etc.

    My take?

    (1) If I was the judge I would rule not guilty on the prosecution's criminal charges. I see it as a commercial dispute if anything with the real issue having to do with whether VLK (the shell company) should be legally bound to pay off its debts to Kirovles or since it's bankrupt, then presumably the Kirov region state budget.

    (2) There is a case, if not an overly strong one IMO, for a charge under Article 165 ("causing financial loss by way of deceit and misuse of trust").

    (3) In reality, they were charged and found guilty under Article 160 ("theft"). The theft of $500,000, aka the TOTAL amount of lumber they sold through VLK - even though they reimbursed $400,000 of that before the scheme ended. Needless to say, I cannot possibly see how that charge and sentence could possibly be reconciled even with the prosecution's own evidence.

    Though Alexander Mercouris, a British lawyer who occassionally comments at my blog - and who, incidentally, accurately predicted the sentence - begs to differ. I am very much hopeful that he will find time to write a blog post about it explaning the legal logic.
  3. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    Hello, José;

    Media sources make much of Alexei Navalny's legal background, and most probably imagine he is a criminal lawyer because he is relentlessly billed as "anti-corruption". In fact, he is a real-estate lawyer by training, and his familiarity with the law as it applies to crime mostly comes from direct experience, from getting arrested.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/10/w...ogger-aleksei-navalny-rouses-russia.html?_r=0

    Here are a couple of links which reflect considerable research on the subject of Alexei Navalny; one, his violent rhetoric, in which he speaks of dragging civil servants from their offices and hanging them (wonderful stuff that gets the lace-hanky liberal intelligentsia crowd all stirred up, since there's nothing they like better than an impatient pugilist to assault the barricades in their behalf);

    http://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/a-dark-side-of-alexei-navalny/

    and a later story in which Navalny's email account was hacked and all sorts of stuff swirled to the surface about the actual conduct of business at VLK. It is from these emails that reawakened interest sprung in charging him, since the case had already been dropped for lack of evidence. You can decide for yourself if there was evidence enough of a crime.

    http://marknesop.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/the-kirovles-case-and-the-navalnyofitserov-email-trail/

    I hope to collect up all the trial transcripts and background and post them here, or perhaps Anatoly has already started.
  4. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    From a commenter on my blog;

    "EXTRY! EXTRY!
    Hacker Hell claims to have found Navalny money in American bank accounts!
    I can’t find the original link, I checked Hell’s Torquemada blog, but it’s not there. (All I saw was a disgusting gloatatory blog in which Hell celebrates Navalny’s arrest last week and calls for him to be violently raped in prison– well, nu, that’s Hell for you, the guy is a genius but he is also sick in the head, what can I say?)
    Anyhow, Izvestia says Hell published this info on his “microblog” – does that mean Twitter??
    To continue, Izvestia claims that Hell published hacked emails (still from that same period of the original hack, 2010 – 2011) between Navalny and his wife, showing that the pair had accounts in Bank of America. The info showed up in a “Bank of America alert” email that was sent to the email address that Hell had hacked, that’s how Hell found out about it. (Maybe the email alert said: “Warning! Your email password has been compromised!”)
    To continue, Hacker told Izvestia that Navalny opened an account at Bank of America in August 2010, and his wife opened a separate account one month later. They presumably opened the accounts because Navalny was studying at Yale and it goes without saying that they needed checking accounts that they could access from the New Haven area , and it turns out there is one right in the center of downtown New Haven.
    [This info about the New haven bank branch comes from me, and not the original Izvestia article - yalensis]
    However, the problem is, according to Hell, that the pair never actually closed the accounts, even after they moved back to Russia. This will be investigated by the Moscow Election Committee, because it is forbidden (according to a law passed just last month) for a Moscow Mayor candidate to have any accounts in foreign banks. Plus, Navalny did not declare these accounts in his application to participate in the election. (When you are supposed to declare your assets and show your tax returns, etc.)
    In conclusion, IF the information turns out to be true; IF Navalny has a foreign bank account; and IF he omitted to declare this in his application, then he will be excluded from the Mayoral race.
    BTW this is the exact reason why Prokhorov decided not to enter the Mayor race. Prokhorov has so many foreign bank accounts that he can’t swing a dead cat witout hitting one of them. And when he looked into his own soul, he just couldn’t find it within himself to shut them all down, in return for a longshot at the Mayor’s office. As Jesus once remarked, “it is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to thread a needle.” Or something like that…."

    That's from commenter Yalensis, at The Kremlin Stooge; I will post updates if any are forthcoming. I can't stipulate to the veracity of this, I was interested in getting it out fast and did not check it yet. But the implications are obvious - mayoral candidates in Russia cannot have foreign bank accounts,. or must at least have declared them. Personally, I think if this turns out to be true, Navalny will heave a sigh of relief - he can go back to squealing that the charges against him are fabricated, and are so out of fear of his political weight because the Kremlin dreads the approach of an honest man, bla, bla, bla. That would be better than the severe trouncing which looked likely.
  5. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    The story has been picked up by The Moscow Times as well, in their feature, "What The Papers Say".

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-the-papers-say-july-25-2013/483628.html

    However, it merely attributes the story to Izvestia - which we already knew - and as we also already know, seeing something mentioned in The Moscow Times is about as much an indicator of its accuracy as a fondness for Pussy Riot is an indicator of musical taste. It's interesting to note, though, that the supposedly Kremlin-friendly press uniformly makes no mention of it, while there are feature stories about Navalny's popularity and plenty of mindless twittering about Navalny. Only Izvestia appears interested in holding the hero's feet to the fire, and the Navalny campaign so despises Izvestia that it has vowed to shut it down once Navalny is Emperor.
  6. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I hope you do, Mark because there is a great deal of very good reporting, information and comments scattered in the comments on The Kremlin Stooge. In fact a great deal of very good stuff period that should be better known and more easily got at.
  7. Robert

    Robert Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
  8. Robert

    Robert Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
  9. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
  10. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    And a masterful piece of work it is too. Another illustration of the truth that a fool can ask more questions (or, in this case, make more assertions) than ten wise men can answer.

    Any Western hack can pop off "Navalniy, a democratic opponent of autocrat Putin, convicted in a case many say was political" in a second or two.

    I'll bet it took Mercouris a little longer to write that.

    FYI, a piece I did some years ago on the issue of how easy it is to write the latest anti-Russia piece

    http://www.russiablog.org/2008/04/more_questions_than_can_be_ans.php
  11. Robert

    Robert Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Absolutely. I've no doubt that there is plenty of corruption in UR but so far the opposition haven't come up with a convincing alternative to Putin and his party. And Russian social attitudes suggest Putinism needs to be challenged from the left not the free market right.

    In Daniel Treisman's book The Return Free Press pp 384 he concludes

    The white ribbon liberals give the impression to me of being people who are progressive in some ways, more educated (often far more so) and more enlightened than many of their countrymen, but at the same time completely unable to understand:

    a. that they have their own snobberies and prejudices ;

    b. that they are where they are as a result of social advantage just as much as ability ;

    c. that the economics they propound favour (and are seen as favouring) them, not everybody ;

    d. that there is a huge link between social division and prejudice, which their economics foster rather than ameliorate ;

    e. that if you weaken labour organisation and socialist politics, it’s not liberalism which fills the gap ;

    f. that if progressive social ideas are linked to fuck-you economics, and are seen as being propounded by a superior elite, then you are asking for what you get, which is an alliance between the resentful proletariat and the cynical wealthy. Which explains the success of UR.

    That they can’t grasp any of these points is precisely because of their monumental self-regard and sense of superiority.
  12. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    39
    Attention all!

    Alexander Mercouris, a British lawyer and commentator on Russian affairs, has written an extraordinarily comprehensive and immaculately researched analysis of the Navalny trial and verdict.

    Here it is: ALEKSEI NAVALNY – AN EXAMINATION OF HIS TRIAL AND CONVICTION

    Needless I highly recommend everyone read it to get a reasoned defense of the point of view that Navalny should have been locked away.

    I am less than halfway through it, so I won't comment much on it for now. The only thing I'll say is that I have finally encountered a solid argument as to why Navalny was charged under Article 160, not 165; and why he was charged with the full 16 million rubles, not the 3 million ruble loss he actually caused.

    At least, legally-technically speaking. Politically speaking I'm still of the mind that the verdict was a disaster, and I don't think the law or rather the Supreme Court decision on which the verdict was based is a very fair and just one. But as I said above, I will better postpone any detailed comments until I've actually read the entire thing.
  13. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    "That they can’t grasp any of these points is precisely because of their monumental self-regard and sense of superiority."

    Exactly!

    It is they who call themselves the elite; they are the "intelligentsia" in the Russian sense of the word - the self-appointed intelligentsia; they call all those who oppose them "cattle" (быдло).
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  14. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    "That they can’t grasp any of these points is precisely because of their monumental self-regard and sense of superiority."

    That reads very much like the anti-manifesto of the intelligentsia in general, including those who are not active politically. They all seem to exude a sense of frustrated entitlement.
  15. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I'm not much of a fan of Lenin, but I can't forget this:

    "...the educated classes, the lackeys of capital, who consider themselves the brains of the nation. In fact they are not its brains but its shit."

    Letter to Gorkiy 1919 http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/g2aleks.html
    AKarlin likes this.
  16. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Latynina is a classic example of a self-appointed "intelligents". She is so convinced of her and her fellow intelligentsy's elite nature, their intellectual prowess over lesser mortals, that she considers that only they should be allowed the franchise and that the rest of society, the peasantry and dullard workers, should be left occupied with their stultifying pastimes of boozing, brawling, fornicating and watching TV programmes suitable only for the brain dead and never ever be allowed to select those who should govern over them.
  17. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    “So long as [the proles] continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern...Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

    George Orwell, 1984
  18. gbordakov

    gbordakov Office Registrar (13th class)

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    It is not just legally-technically speaking but speaking from the point of common sense justice if Navalny, Ofitserov i Opalyov have indeed engaged in criminal conspiracy to enrich themselves by re-selling timber to profit themselves as alleged by prosecution. The actual profit is immaterial. Material question is following: was the contract executed in good faith or was it a shadow device to cover extortion made either in agreement with Opalyov or by putting him under duress?
    I have read long before Maria Sklyaruk's piece on Naval'ny indictment http://www.polit.ru/article/2013/04/26/navalny/ where she proposed how indictment should read: "To commit the crime N. organized fictional company VKL and using its financial capabilities knowingly with the purpose of profiteering organized appropriation without compensation of someone else's property entrusted to O. in favor of himself and his co-conspirators - namely, timber of the cost of 16,165,826.65 rubles, that is, on exceptionally large scale - and incidentally with the purpose to cover the unlawful nature of the action replaced the property by cash in the amount of not more than 14 million rubles, that is by less valuable property, that caused property damage to Kirovles on an unspecified amount" (sorry for my awkward attempt to translate Russian legalese, I am not a lawyer at all).
    That statement, which sounded laughable to me first time I read it, now makes perfect sense in the light that the contract may have been no contract but extortion cover. Shklyaruk points out that judge on Naval'ny trial must consider Naval'ny case as proven theft since Opalyov's conviction of theft has taken full legal force (which he did) and that decides the outcome of the case.
    My question is why Naval'ny's prosecutors did not frame indictment in a way proposed in Shklyaruk's article and refrained from using words "without compensation" (in Russian "безвозмездно") how it is spelled in article 160? Could it be any indication thatthe proof of contract to be sham is not really that conclusive and Opalyov's trial was not entirely proper in spite of the sentence ? I have not seen anything of length on Opalyov's trial and did not listen to Opalyov's testimony. I read Naval'ny's leaked e-mails, they sound sinister, but do not make me convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the contract was a cover. I have posted my questions after another Shklyaruk's piece here http://polit.ru/article/2013/07/19/Ultimaratio/. No comments so far.
  19. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    For only the second time in almost 2 years I have seen today someone on the Moscow streets wearing a white ribbon. I was coming home at half-past seven this evening and there, in front of the entrances and exits to Smolenskaya metro station was standing a man wearing a white ribbon and attempting to hand out leaflets. In the couple of minutes that passed while I was observing the scene, I saw nobody accepting a leaflet off him: everybody seemed more interested in hurrying off home. The man was about 20 years old, and he surely can't really have any clear, objective memories of the Yeltsin years and Gaidar and Chubais and of the total disaster that those times were for the vast majority of Russians, though he no doubt believes the Chosen One's description of that era as the "golden times".

    Behind him was a middle-aged man who was standing in silence whilst holding a large 2 metre by 1 metre placard that was suspended from his neck. On the placard was written: ""Путин -враг народа" (Putin is the enemy of the people).

    In the very short time that I was there, I saw two people taking photographs of this man with his placard.

    Clearly that man mustn't have known that he was putting his life in grave danger, for it is common knowledge that any criticism whatsoever made in Russia of the Evil One results in the almost certain death of the critic.

    And this applies not only to critics in Russia: I mean, just look what happened to Litvinenko.
  20. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    22
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
    "Clearly that man mustn't have known that he was putting his life in grave danger, for it is common knowledge that any criticism whatsoever made in Russia of the Evil One results in the almost certain death of the critic.

    And this applies not only to critics in Russia: I mean, just look what happened to Litvinenko."

    Perhaps he will claim he is illiterate, and that organizers told him the sign read, "Putin always catches the biggest fish". God knows illiteracy is widespread in Putin's Russia, where teachers have to take their pay in vodka because there is no money.

Share This Page