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Russia court rejects plea to imprison opposition activist Navalny

[JURIST] A Moscow court on Wednesday declined authorities' request to convert opposition activist Aleksei Navalny's [personal website, in Russian; JURIST news archive] suspended sentence into a prison term. Navalny is a Russian opposition activist and blogger who was given a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence after being convicted in December of fraud. Navalny is believed to have been one of the main actors behind the street protests in Moscow in 2011-12. Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service—supported by prosecutors—asked the court to send Navalny to jail for his disturbing the public order. The court, however, decided to extend Navalny's suspended sentence for three months, rather than replace the sentence with a prison term.

The Navalny brothers were charged [RAPSI report] with embezzling approximately 30 million rubles (USD $518,000) from cosmetics company Yves Rocher Vostok [corporate website] and the Multidisciplinary Processing Company (MPC) by a fraud scheme between 2008 and 2012. A spokesperson for the EU issued a statement [text] claiming that Navalny's trial was politically motivated.

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