Sunday Mail (UK)

Kremlin critic to remain in prison

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Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has lost an appeal against being sent to jail on his return to Russia.

The opposition leader was detained last month and accused of violating the terms of a suspended sentence.

Navalny had returned from Germany, where he was being treated for a nearfatal nerve agent attack.

He has blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin for the attack and says the charges against him are fabricated.

The Kreml in denies any involvemen­t in his poisoning.

In 2014, Navalny was handed a suspended sentence for embezzleme­nt that required him to report regularly to police.

In court yesterday, he argued that the charges were “absurd” as he was unable to report to the police while recovering from the nerve agent attack.

Navalny said: “The whole world knew where I was. Once I’d recovered, I bought a plane ticket and came home.”

But the judge rejected his case and he will return to the penal colony where he is serving his time.

The judge did, however, cut six weeks off the nearly three-year sentence imposed.

Navalny was due to face another court hearing on charges of slandering a World War II veteran who praised Putin.

Commenting on Navalny’s return to the penal colony, a spokesman for Putin said: “It is none of our business.”

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