Moscow Court Orders Kremlin Foe Navalny To Prison

In this handout photo provided by Moscow City Court Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny talks to his lawyers standing in the cage during a hearing to a motion from the Russian prison service to convert the suspended sentence of Navalny from the 2014 criminal conviction into a real prison term in the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (Moscow City Court via AP)

(AP) — A Moscow court has ordered Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to prison for more than 2 1/2 years for violating the terms of his probation while he was recuperating in Germany from nerve-agent poisoning.

The ruling ignited protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Navalny, 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 Navalny was arrested Jan. 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.


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