Russia sentences Kremlin critic Navalny to nine years in prison -court

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Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a court hearing in Pokrov

– A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to nine years in prison on fraud charges, in a ruling that will keep President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent out of active politics for years ahead.

Navalny, who was also found guilty of contempt of court, is already serving a two-and-a-half year sentence at a prison camp east of Moscow for parole violations related to charges he says were trumped up to thwart his political ambitions.

Navalny, who the court also fined 1.2 million roubles ($11,535), has dismissed the latest criminal case against him as politically motivated and pleaded not guilty.

($1 = 104.0270 roubles)

(Reporting by Reuters)