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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny avoids jail term

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny avoids jail term


A prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin has escaped a jail sentence and instead been given a suspended sentence.

Alexei Navalny was convicted in July of embezzling hundreds of thousands of euros from a state timber company while working as an advisor to the governor of the Kirov region in 2009.

Navalny has always held that the charge was politically motivated.

At a court in Kirov on Wednesday, his five year jail term was changed to a suspended sentence.

Navalny was a prominent anti-corruption blogger and helped lead protests against Putin in 2011.

He has since emerged as the main opposition leader to the president.

Last month, while on bail, he stood for election as mayor of Moscow, coming second against the Kremlin’s candidate with 27.4% of the vote.

His suspended sentence means Navalny will now be able to run in any future elections.

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