RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
A court in Moscow has converted a one-year suspended sentence to real prison time for the brother of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
The Lyublino district court handed down the ruling on February 18 at a hearing at which Oleg Navalny was not present.
During the hearing, the court said that Navalny might have left Russia for Cyprus.
Russia added Oleg Navalny to the country's wanted list last month.
"Navalny obtained a ticket for a Moscow-Cyprus flight for September 4, 2021, and there is no information on his return to the country," a judge said at the hearing.
Navalny's current whereabouts are unknown.
Oleg Navalny was given a one-year suspended prison sentence after a court in Moscow in August found him guilty of publicly calling for the violation of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
He and his supporters have called the sentence politically motivated.
The outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny has been in prison since February 2021 after being speedily tried and handed a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for violating the terms of an earlier parole. His conviction is widely regarded as a trumped-up, politically motivated case.
Navalny has blamed President Vladimir Putin for his poisoning with a Novichok-style chemical substance. The Kremlin has denied any role in the attack.
Copyright (c) 2010-2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.