It seems like we hear about a new sham trial against a Russian opposition figure every day now. Alexi Navalny, one of the most famous challengers to President Putin has been convicted of especially ridiculous charges. Navalny was accused of stealing 16 million rubles from a state run timber company. The case had been closed by local investigators years ago for lack of evidence but was reopened last summer for political reasons. The main witness was a former director of the firm who Navalny had investigated for corruption and tried to fire. The defense was unable to cross examine witnesses, couldn't call their own witnesses, and couldn't conduct an independent analysis.