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Moscow police detain blogger Alexey Navalny for breaking terms of house arrest

January 15, 2015, 1:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
December 30, 2014, a district court in Moscow issued a sentence to Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg in connection with embezzlements in the Yves Rocher company
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© Michail Pochyev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Moscow police detained oppositionist blogger Alexey Navalny, who had been placed under house arrest by the court, near the editorial office of the Moscow Echo radio on Wednesday night, the press service of Moscow City Interior Department told TASS.

“Citizen Navalny, who broke the terms of staying under house arrest, was detained and taken to a police station and he will be handed to the Federal Service for Penitentiaries shortly,” a spokesman for the Interior Department said.

December 30, 2014, a district court in Moscow issued a sentence to Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg in connection with embezzlements in the Yves Rocher company. Alexey was awarded a suspended term of 3.5 years, while Oleg was sentenced to 3.5 years in a general jail.

The district court returned four petitions for changing the form of Navalny's detention to the Moscow City department for penitentiaries.

“They were returned since the form of restriction on freedom imposed by a court sentence can be revised only through an appeal,” court press secretary Yulia Petrova said.

All issues related to the legitimacy of Alexei Navalny actions, who abandoned the apartment he was ordered to stay in could become a matter of supervision only as part of court consideration of appeals or other documents containing conclusions on his misconduct, she said.

Public prosecutors have petitioned against the sentence to Navalny considering it to be overly mild.

On the other hand, the Navalny brothers and their lawyers also find the sentence to be illegitimate. Defence demands that the brothers be exonerated of guilt.

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