Trial Delayed For Russian Activist With Ties To Yale University

Apr 22, 2013

The trial of a Russian political activist has been delayed for a week. Aleksei Navalny studied in Connecticut as part of a global leadership training program at Yale University.

He has been described as “Kremlin’s Public Enemy Number 1” and is famous for coining the phrase “the party of swindlers and thieves” to describe Vladimir Putin’s political party.    In 2010, he spent several months in New Haven as part of the Yale World Fellows program. Director Michael Cappello spoke about Navlany on WNPR’s Where We Live. "At Yale, what he was able to do was work with faculty who are experts in social media, in organizational behavior and psychology and management. And he really refined his approach for how he was going to effect this change in his country." Navalny published documents on his blog exposing alleged corruption in Russia’s state oil pipeline company, then quickly rose to prominence as an opposition leader. He was jailed in 2011 for helping to organize a protest against the Russian government. Now he’s been charged with embezzlement, an accusation he calls “ridiculous”. In a video posted on the Radio Free Europe website, 36-year old Navalny says he expects to be imprisoned.   Earlier this month Navalny declared he wanted to be president.   In an interview with the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said “When somebody is constantly attracting attention to himself and even mocking authorities saying he’s so good, then interest in his past is heightened and the process of exposing it speeds up.”   Navalny’s trial, scheduled for this week has been postponed to April 24th. If convicted, he could face up to ten years in prison.   For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson