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Russian Prison Officials Deny Seeking Jail Term for Navalny

Andrei Lyubimov / Moskva News Agency

The Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) denied late Tuesday that it requested a Russian court to replace opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s suspended sentence with time in prison.

“The FSIN did not ask Moscow’s Simonovsky court to cancel Navalny’s suspended sentence,” the Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified FSIN official as saying.

Simonovksy court spokesperson Viktor Vasiliev originally told the RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday afternoon that the prison authority’s request had been received and registered.

He later informed that the Simonovsky district court had turned down FSIN’s request “on formal grounds.”

Navalny was handed a five-year suspended sentence for fraud in 2013. The FSIN has petitioned courts unsuccessfully twice before to cancel the sentence.

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