Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) instructed to resume testing on the well-known blogger and lawyer Alexey Navalny. Late last year he was suspected of imposing a disadvantageous contract to the state enterprise "Kirovles" which had suffered damage amounting to more than 1 million rubles. But in the end the suit was not filed. According to the investigative committee, the initial investigation verification did not provide "an adequate assessment of" the actions of Mr. Navalny. The blogger himself believes that the insistence of prosecutors has been provoked by his anti-corruption investigation.
There was information last summer in Kirov that Alexey Navalny might have been related to the scandal surrounding KOGU "Kirovles”. However, the authorities became interested in the activities of Mr. Navalny only at the beginning of December 2010. Then the official of Ministry of Interior Affairs said that the agency became interested in "a number of questionable major business deals," in which Alex Navalny might be involved. Soon the Chief Directorate Ministry of Interior in the Volga Federal District transferred investigation materials verifying against Alexey Navalny to the Kirov Investigation Department. Operatives assumed that Mr. Navalny, as adviser of the governor of the Kirov region, forced the former director of the State Enterprise "Kirovles”, Vyacheslav Opalev, to conclude a disadvantageous contract for the supply of wood with" Vyatka Timber Company "; it caused the budget damage amounting to 1.3 million rub. But the Department of Investigation denied instituting a criminal case. "Alexey Navalny testified and cooperated with the investigation. On the basis of audit materials, extortion and other corrupt components have been identified," the representative of the Ministry, Andrei Vasilkov explained.
On February 8, it became known that the central office of ICR abolished the decision to file the case against Alexey Navalny. The official representative of the Office, Vladimir Markin, said that during the initial inspection "there was no proper assessment of the actions of Alexey Navalny given as adviser to the governor." According to Mr. Markin, "Mr. Navalny threatened to dismiss managers of the enterprise in case of refusal to sign such a contract." Furthermore, as stated in a communique by the agency, the regional governor was not questioned, as well as employees of a unitary enterprise and commercial organization of the supplier timber. Now investigation department of the investigative committee in the Volga Federal District will conduct investigation of Mr Navalny.
Alexey Navalny originally connected the check with his publications for the construction of the pipeline East Siberia-Pacific Ocean that evoked a broad discussion: in November in his blog he posted that the construction would damage the state in the amount of $ 4 billion. The blogger called the story with Kirovles "absolutely ridiculous". Alexey Navalny expected the decision by ICR to reopen the investigation. " I suppose, the case was initiated and paid by the structures of VTB and Transneft, which I am investigating, and I found it understandable that they would not calm down," the blogger said in an interview with “Ekho Moskvy”.
The Governor of the Kirov region, Nikita Belykh also believes that accusation of Alexey Navalny unfounded. In his blog at LiveJournal, the regional head resembled that Alexey Navalny had been working on increasing the transparency of the forest industry. According to the regional head, the government had analyzed the contract of "Kirovles”, and then the law enforcement agencies sent several requests for criminal cases. "But for some reason law enforcement officers did not prosecute a case, though the absurd accusations of Navalny did appear; let me recall, that he served as adviser on a volunteer basis, personnel, he was not a civil servant and acted only in the collegiate bodies such as commissions and working groups”, he said.