Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been handed a five-year suspended sentence, a ruling which will complicate his plans to run in next year’s presidential elections.
Navalny said he would appeal the sentence and would take part in the elections regardless, adding that the sentence is a signal from the Kremlin that it considers him too dangerous.
He was tried on charges of embezzling funds from state-controlled forestry company KirovLes.
Last year the Supreme Court nullified the Kirov court’s 2013 guilty verdict and sent it back for retrial.
Navalny denies any wrongdoing, saying the case is politically motivated, as he intends to challenge Vladimir Putin for the presidency.
His supporters want him to run against Putin, though opinion polls show he has substantially less backing among Russian voters than the president.
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