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Moscow police release Navalny from detention after alleged public order violation

February 16, 2015, 1:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian oppositionist, who already had two suspended sentences, reportedly violated his home arrest terms previously
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© Philipp Kireev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny, detained by police on Sunday night in Moscow metro along with another man for attempted violation of public order, has been released from custody, according to a post on a social Web-account of his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh.

Yarmysh said earlier that Navalny and his fellow-oppositionist Nikolai Lyaskin were detained by police on their way to a meeting concerning an upcoming opposition march in the Russian capital, while the press service of the Moscow police told TASS that both oppositionists were detained for violating public order.

Navalny, who already had two suspended sentences (in 2013, on embezzlement charges in the Kirovles case, and in late December 2014, on charges of embezzling Yves Rocher funds, together with his brother), reportedly violated his home arrest terms previously.

On December 30, the Zamoskvoretsky Court of Moscow handed down three and a half year suspended sentence to Navalny and sentenced to three and a half years in prison his brother Oleg Navalny after finding both of them guilty of fraud charges.

The court also ordered Alexei and Oleg Navalny to pay over 4 million rubles ($70,500 according to exchange rate at that time) in favor of a complainant company in the trial as well as 500,000 rubles ($8,800) each in fines.

Oleg Navalny, who was under an obligation not to leave the country for the duration of the trial, was arrested in the courtroom after the verdict was announced.

The Navalny brothers were accused of a large-scale fraud committed by an organized group as well as of office abuse and money laundering. Investigators claimed that "the Navalnys have embezzled more than 26.7 million rubles ($471,000) in a fraud from cosmetics company Yves Rocher Vostok and more than 4.4 million rubles ($77.6 thousand) from the Multi-Profile Processing Company.

Prosecutor insisted on a guilty verdict to the Navalnys. Considering the suspended sentence in the Kirovles fraud case, prosecution sought ten years in prison for Alexei Navalny and eight years in prison for Oleg Navalny.

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