Navalny Briefly 'Invited' to Police Station After Rally

Navalny addresses the crowd at a rally on Sunday in Sokolniki mcfunny

Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was briefly detained over alleged violations during a rally, police said.

Navalny was "invited to a police department for a conversation in connection with violations" made during the rally he held for his supporters, a Moscow police representative told RIA Novosti on Sunday.

In a video posted by Navalny's team, two dozen police officers are seen going through the crowd to the stage on which the opposition activist was standing. Navalny is heard telling the crowd to "go home" while following the policemen offstage.

In about an hour, Navalny said on Twitter that he was taken to northeastern Moscow in a police van and released after a police officer told him that "nobody detained him."

Police also told RIA Novosti that 10 people were detained at Navalny's rally for "petty hooliganism," public drunkenness, improper installation of the temporary stage and unsanctioned use of audio recording equipment.

The police have since released all 10 detainees, Interfax reported Monday.

Navalny was convicted in July of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in a penal colony, but in a surprise move, prosecutors then filed a request for him to be released from custody pending appeal.

Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger well-known for leading mass protests against President Vladimir Putin, has denounced the charges against him as politically motivated.

In addition to the embezzlement case, investigators have opened three other criminal cases against Navalny, on charges of embezzlement from a political party, deceiving an international cosmetics company, and illegally conspiring to privatize a distillery in central Russia.

Material from The Moscow Times is included in this report.

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