Moscow [Russia], March 22 (ANI): A Russian court on Tuesday, sentenced Opposition figure Alexey Navalny to nine years to prison and fined him 1.2 million rubles (USD 11,527) in separate criminal cases of fraud and contempt of court in a move that is being seen as a crackdown on the Kremlin critic.
The sentence was announced by the Lefortovo district court judge Margarita Kotova who announced the sentence to nine years in a "strict regime penal colony" for a criminal case of fraud and contempt of court, Sputnik News Agency reported.
The fraud case was initiated over a year ago. Navalny allegedly stole and spent over 350 million rubles (USD 3.1 million) donated to his Anti-Corruption Foundation for personal use, Sputnik reported citing investigation details.
His anti-corruption organization called, FBK, had last year been designated an "extremist organization and foreign agent" and subsequently banned by the Russian authorities.
The other charge in the case concerns Navalny allegedly insulting Judge Vera Akimova, who sentenced him to a fine of 850,000 rubles (USD 7,500) for slandering a veteran of World War 2, Ignat Artemenko, Sputnik further reported, adding that the two offences were investigated separately, but before being submitted to the court, they were combined into one case.
The Russian prosecutors in the case were seeking 13-year imprisonment and a fine of 1.2 million rubles ($10,600) for Navalny on charges of fraud and contempt of court.
Meanwhile, Navalny's lawyer Olga Mikhailova said that the decision of the court will be appealed, saying, "We will, of course, appeal against the verdict."
In a dramatic development, Navalny's lawyers were themselves detained by the police later on Tuesday because they failed to move away from a roadway, Sputnik reported. (ANI)