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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny ordered to prison by Moscow court

Navalny is the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alexei Navalny.
Alexei Navalny.
Image: PA

A MOSCOW COURT has ordered Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to prison on charges that he violated the terms of his probation while he was recuperating in Germany from nerve-agent poisoning.

Mr Navalny, who is the most prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, had earlier denounced the proceedings as a vain attempt by the Kremlin to scare millions of Russians into submission.

The prison sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that he has rejected as fabricated.

The 44-year-old Mr Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon returning from his five-month convalescence in Germany from the attack, which he has blamed on the Kremlin.

Russian authorities deny any involvement.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “Today’s verdict against Alexey Navalny is a bitter blow against fundamental freedoms & the rule of law in Russia. Already in 2017, the ECHR criticised criminal prosecution in this case as arbitrary. Alexey Navalny must be released immediately.”

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