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Retrial Of Putin Foe Navalny Resumes After Holiday Break

Aleksei Navalny
Aleksei Navalny

The retrial of Aleksei Navalny, a prominent Russian anticorruption campaigner and foe of President Vladimir Putin, resumed on January 18 after a break for the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Witnesses were testifying at the session on January 18 at a court in the provincial city of Kirov, about 800 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

The retrial started in early December after Russia's Supreme Court threw out the Kirov court's 2013 conviction of Navalny and his co-defendant Pyotr Ofitserov on charges of large-scale theft involving timber sales.

Navalny, 40, was handed a five-year suspended sentence in the initial trial in the case, which he said was politically motivated punishment for his opposition activity.

A key leader of large antigovernment protests in 2011-12, Navalny was convicted of fraud in a separate case in 2014 and given a 3 1/2-year suspended sentence.

Navalny has announced plans to run for president in 2018, but if he is convicted at the retrial he is likely to be barred from seeking political office.

Based on reporting by Meduza and Mediazona