KIROV, Russia – A Russian court has overturned a sentence for opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, handing him a suspended sentence instead of five years in prison.
Navalny was convicted on embezzlement charges and sentenced to five years in prison on July 18, but was released from prison the next day in what some considered a ploy to make the Moscow mayoral race, where he was registered as a candidate, look as competitive as possible.
Navalny garnered an unexpected 27 percent against the Kremlin-backed incumbent. His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars.
A judge in the court in Kirov, 760 kilometers (460 miles) east of Moscow, read out the decision on Wednesday.