Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Jailed Russian’s associate is convicted


MOSCOW — A top associate of Russia’s imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of trespassin­g Thursday and handed a suspended sentence of one year community service after she tried to question an alleged security operative believed to be involved in Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

A court in Moscow found Lyubov Sobol, a politician and a key figure in Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, guilty of forcing her way into the apartment of a relative of the alleged operative whom Navalny had previously duped into revealing details of his poisoning.

Sobol condemned the verdict as a “shame and disgrace” and vowed to appeal.

“In the meantime, a (criminal) case into the attempt upon Navalny’s life hasn’t been even opened,” she said in a tweet.

Navalny is serving a 2½-year prison sentence for a 2014 embezzleme­nt conviction that he says was fabricated and the European Court of Human Rights declared “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonab­le.” For more then two weeks, he has been on a hunger strike over prison officials’ refusal to allow a visit from his doctor after he developed severe back and leg pain.

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