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Ex-Tomsk Mayor Targeted By Navalny Investigation Convicted of Abuse of Power

Ivan Klyain. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

A Siberian court has found the former mayor of Tomsk guilty of abuse of power, Russian media reported Monday, over three years after he became the center of an anti-corruption expose by jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. 

Tomsk’s Sovetsky District Court found ex-mayor Ivan Klyayn guilty of abusing his power during a road construction project, adding to a previous sentence where he was found guilty of abusing power and illegally running a business. 

He was sentenced to a total of 2 years and 9 months in prison.

But the Sovetsky District Court on Monday said that Klyayn’s time spent in pre-trial detention and under house arrest would count toward his sentence, and he was released following the hearing. 

“Free at last. Now I’m free. I can walk through the city. Thank you,” Klyayn was quoted as saying by the Govorit NeMoskva news outlet after the judge ruled for his release. 

Klyayn was arrested in November 2022, just two months after Navalny published an investigation alleging corruption by local officials in Tomsk.

At the time, Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said Klyayn ordered his subordinates in 2016 to falsify information about land next to a brewery he owns to prevent a local businessman from starting construction there.

The businessman suffered “significant damage,” according to law enforcement officials. 

Before his arrest, Klyayn had served as mayor of Tomsk since 2013.

AFP contributed reporting.

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