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Russian court hands father of Navalny ally 3-year suspended sentence, lawyer says

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By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">MOSCOW</span> – A Russian court on Sunday handed the retired father of one of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s allies a three-year suspended sentence, his lawyer said, in a corruption case that critics say is without merit. </p> <p>Prosecutors had asked for Yury Zhdanov, 67, to be sentenced to three years in jail, his lawyer Vladimir Voronin said earlier this week, on charges of fraud and forgery. </p> <p>Russia this year banned Navalny’s political network deeming it extremist as part of a crackdown on the group. </p> <p>Zhdanov’s son, Ivan, who is based abroad, has said the case against his father is an effort by the authorities to punish him for his own political work.</p> <p>Zhdanov, who denied his guilt, spent several months in pre-trial detention, but was released from custody on Sunday after sentencing, his Voronin said. </p> <p/> </div>