News / Europe

    Sentence Suspended for Russian Opposition Leader

    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny embraces his wife Yulia after the announcement of the verdict, Oct. 16, 2013.
    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny embraces his wife Yulia after the announcement of the verdict, Oct. 16, 2013.
    VOA News
    A Russian appeals court has suspended the five-year prison sentence of anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

    Navalny was convicted on July 19 of organizing the 2009 theft of some $500,000 from a timber firm after a trial he described as politically motivated.  He was unexpectedly released from prison the following day and allowed to continue his mayoral campaign after thousands of supporters protested in central Moscow.

    On Wednesday, the appeals court in the northern Russian region of Kirov suspended his five-year sentence, and that of his co-accused, Pyotr Ofitserov.

    Alexei Navalny

    • Born in 1976 outside Moscow
    • Studied law at Moscow's Peoples' Friendship University
    • Blogged about Russian politics
    • Spearheaded legal challenges on behalf of minority shareholders in Russian giants including Gazprom
    • Became a Yale World Fellow in 2010
    • Arrested and briefly detained in 2011 following a protest
    • Registered in 2013 to run for Moscow mayor
    • Convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison in July 2013
    • Court suspends his prison sentence in October 2013
    • Arrested in February 2014 at an unauthorized protest, placed under house arrest
    While the suspension of his sentence keeps him out of jail, his conviction prevents him from running in future elections.

    Navalny suggested Wednesday that the court ruling was dictated by the Kremlin.

    "This decision to suspend my five-year sentence was not made here, it was made personally by Vladimir Putin," he said. "I do not have an idea of what exactly is happening in his head and why he has changed his decision. It is clear that the authorities are doing their utmost to pull me out of the political fight."

    Navalny vowed to remain active in Russian politics.

    Last month, Navalny sparked protests by thousands of supporters when he declared Russia's September 8 Moscow mayoral election was rigged to hand victory to an ally of President Vladimir Putin.

    Navalny said the vote count had many serious violations and demanded a runoff be held between him and Kremlin-backed rival Sergei Sobyanin.

    The 37-year-old opposition leader said Monday there was "clear falsification" of votes and Sobyanin's majority was "guaranteed only by fraud."  

    Results showed incumbent Sobyanin winning a little more than 51 percent of the vote to Navalny's 27 percent.  

    Kremlin-backed Sobyanin was widely expected to win.  He is Russian President Vladimir Putin's former chief of staff.  Sobyanin was appointed mayor three years ago.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora