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Kirov Court Throws Out Navalny Appeal

A Kirov court on Tuesday turned down an appeal by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose legal team argues that authorities allotted insufficient time to prepare for his embezzlement trial.

Navalny's trial is set to resume on Wednesday in Kirov, a provincial city roughly 900 kilometers from Moscow. It was adjourned for a week last Wednesday, although Navalny's lawyers say they still don't have time to prepare for the case.

Lawyers for Navalny, who rose to prominence as an anti-corruption blogger and has become one of the Kremlin's fiercest critics, had also sought that their client's trial be moved to a Moscow court, but their request was turned down, Interfax reported.

Navalny is accused of organizing the theft of 16 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from a state-owned company while working as an advisor to the Kirov region's governor in 2009.

He has denied the charge, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, and has dismissed the case against him as politically driven.

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