Russian court hands father of Navalny ally 3-year suspended sentence, lawyer says

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MOSCOW – A Russian court on Sunday handed the retired father of one of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s allies a three-year suspended sentence, his lawyer said, in a corruption case that critics say is without merit.

Prosecutors had asked for Yury Zhdanov, 67, to be sentenced to three years in jail, his lawyer Vladimir Voronin said earlier this week, on charges of fraud and forgery.

Russia this year banned Navalny’s political network deeming it extremist as part of a crackdown on the group.

Zhdanov’s son, Ivan, who is based abroad, has said the case against his father is an effort by the authorities to punish him for his own political work.

Zhdanov, who denied his guilt, spent several months in pre-trial detention, but was released from custody on Sunday after sentencing, his Voronin said.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by Jason Neely)