MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (UPI) — A court in Moscow on Tuesday upheld a resolution to launch a criminal libel case against Russian activist and blogger Alexei Navalny.
Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev had appealed the case, which was filed in May. Moscow’s Lublinsky court had found it was legal to pursue the case against Navalny.
“The court left the Lublinsky court’s resolution without changes, and dismissed the appeal,” the judge announced in the ruling.
Navalny had alleged that former investigator Pavel Karpov was involved in the death of Hermitage Capital Management employee Sergey Magnitsky in 2009. Magnitsky had accused Russian officials of a $230 million fraud and died in jail under suspicious circumstances. He was posthumously found guilty of tax evasion in July 2013.
On his website, Navalny had posted reports from the film “Untouchables” that contained claims of Karpov’s alleged involvement.
Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court determined information in these films was untrue and tarnishing honor and dignity, Karpov said.
In August, Moscow’s Lublinsky District Court refused to change the suspended sentence of Navalny to prison time for the embezzlement of $400,000 in funds from Yves Rocher, a French cosmetics company, and $61,500 from Multidisciplinary Processing Company, a victim in the fraud case. Alexei received a 3.5-year suspended sentence without jail time and his brother Oleg was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.