MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) – Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said late Tuesday that his license to practice law was revoked last month in the wake of a controversial embezzlement conviction.
“The lawyers’ chamber, by law, didn’t have any other option: they were obliged to deprive me of my lawyer status,” Navalny wrote in a blog post late Tuesday.
The charismatic blogger and activist was handed a five-year suspended sentence in October after a regional Russian court convicted him of stealing $500,000 worth of timber.
He and his supporters claimed that the trial was politically motivated, though the government denied this.
A longstanding anti-corruption campaigner, Navalny has used his skills as a lawyer and minority shareholdings in state companies to expose alleged graft within the political elite.
Navalny was at the forefront of the mass protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011 and 2012, and came second in September Moscow mayoral elections.
Russian investigators accused Navalny in February of illegally acquiring his status as a lawyer, shortly after a state-run television channel ran a documentary that claimed to prove the same charge.