Retrial starts for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

A retrial of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for embezzlement begins in the provincial city of Kirov after the original 2013 guilty verdict was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Navalny asked the court on Monday to throw out the case in which he is accused of stealing timber worth $500,000 from a state-owned company. Critics of the process say the trial is politically motivated.

Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, told journalists the aim of the retrial was to restore the original conviction that bars him from standing as a candidate in elections.

Russia's Supreme Court sent the case for retrial last month. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in February that Russia had violated Navalny's right to a fair trial.