Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny jailed

Russian prosecutors back Navalny’s imprisonment

Moscow court holds hearing that could jail Putin critic for years

The Russian court handed Navalny a 3.5 year suspended sentence with a 5-year probation period.

"A Russian citizen sentenced by Russian court in accordance with Russian laws". Factoring in the 10 months Navalny previously spent under house arrest, his prison sentence is two years and eight months.

Navalny was arrested on January 17 as he returned from Germany, where had been recovering from an attempted assassination with a military-grade nerve agent. Russian authorities, who have denied any involvement in the August poisoning, pressured Navalny to remain in exile. "What else could I have done?"

A prison service representative responded by asking why he had not provided documents to explain the serious reasons that prevented him from showing up for inspections. "Why are you sitting here and telling the court you didn't know where I was?" I fell into a coma, then I was in the ICU, then in rehabilitation. "Bad girl. I love you". "You had my address and telephone number".

The case saw Navalny spend one year under house arrest as part of his three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence and his brother Oleg serve the entire time in jail.

Alexei Navalny holds up a document in the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia. "The explanation is one man's hatred and fear - one man hiding in a bunker". I mortally offended him by surviving.

When a prosecutor tried to object, Navalny snapped back: "I don't need your objections".

An investigation by the Bellingcat website found that Mr. Navalny was trailed by a team of operatives from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) - including poison and chemical weapon specialists - for at least three years before the August attack, beginning shortly after Mr. Navalny announced that he meant to challenge Mr. Putin for the presidency. We all remember Alexander the Liberator [Alexander II] and Yaroslav the Wise [Yaroslav I].

"He is not engaging in geopolitics, he holds meetings on how to smear underwear with chemical weapons".

The Kremlin critic on Tuesday called the hearing a vain attempt by Moscow to scare millions of Russians into submission.

He blames the attack with the Novichok nerve agent on Putin and the FSB security agency.

While the trigger for those protests was Navalny's arrest, some protesters say they have also taken to the streets to vent their frustration over declining living standards.

Navalny has been a thorn in Putin's side for years with his anti-corruption investigations into the Kremlin elite.

Tuesday's hearing opened under a heavy security presence, with riot police securing the court building and cordoning off the general area with police vehicles, trucks and vans.

Protesters were also detained in St. Petersburg.

CNN reporters witnessed police detaining dozens of people outside the court before the hearing had begun. They are afraid of losing their job, of getting imprisoned. His lawyers also presented a letter from Berlin's Charite Clinic showing that he was in rehabilitation up until his return to Russian Federation. About 650 people were arrested, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests.

Two days after he was placed in pre-trial custody last month, his team released an investigation into an opulent seaside property Navalny claims was given to Putin through a billion-dollar scheme financed by close associates who head state companies.

He said that efforts to lock him away are meant to intimidate the Russian people, many of whom recently demonstrated a willingness to push back against the government over Navalny's arrest, as well as long-standing issues of lawlessness and corruption.

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