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Supreme Court Upholds Sentence Against Navalny

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review the verdict handed down to anti-corruption campaigner and opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a high-profile 2013 embezzlement case, RAPSI reported.

Navalny's lawyer, Olga Mikhailova, had appealed to the court to overturn the verdict handed down to Navalny in July 2013, when he was found guilty of embezzling funds from the KirovLes timber company and hit with a five-year suspended sentence.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused Mikhailova's request, while Navalny appeared in court as part of another embezzlement case against him.

Investigators say Navalny and his brother Oleg defrauded cosmetics company Yves Rocher of 26 million rubles ($457,000), and laundered an additional 21 million rubles. Navalny has been under house arrest in connection with the charges since March.

He has maintained that he is innocent of the charges in both the Yves Rocher case and the KirovLes case, saying the accusations were politically motivated to keep him from getting into the political arena. He led the mass anti-Kremlin protests that stormed Moscow in 2011 and 2012, and ran in Moscow's mayoral elections in 2013, securing a larger part of the vote than many expected.

On Monday, he appeared in court to testify in the case, and tweets posted by journalists and opposition activists following the hearing suggest it was quite a lively affair.

"The judge asks that you refrain from making insulting remarks towards investigators," wrote Dmitry Masalsky, an activist with Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund, apparently referring to a warning from the judge.

Navalny quickly tweeted back, "Refraining from making 'insulting remarks' toward investigators didn't work out. [I've gotten] a warning and have been written up."

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