Russian opposition leader 'found guilty' of embezzlement

Alexei Navalny has always denied the accusations, saying the case is politically motivated

Russian opposition leader 'found guilty' of embezzlement

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Picture by Elena Ignatyeva AP/Press Association Images

Russia's most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been found guilty of embezzlement at a retrial, Russian media reports.

A court is reported to have upheld the verdict of the first trial in 2013 that Mr Navalny led a group that embezzled timber worth 16m roubles (€252,000) from the Kirovles state timber company while working as an adviser to Kirov's governor.

The case was brought after the European Court of Human Rights ruled he was not given a fair hearing at his first trial.

Prosecutors are asking for a five year suspended sentence and a 500,000 rouble (€7,900) fine.

Navalny's conviction would make him ineligible for public office, meaning he will not be able to run against Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election.

Navalny, the driving force between behind massive anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012, had announced plans to run for office in December and had begun to raise funds.

He has always denied the accusations, saying the case is politically motivated.