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Moscow court extends house arrest for Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny instead of jailing him

  • APTOPIX Russia Opposition Leader-1.jpg

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, centre, and his wife Yulia, right, enter a courtroom before the start of a trial against Alexei and his brother Oleg Navalny, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 24, 2014. The brothers face charges of allegedly laundering some millions of rubles from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) (The Associated Press)

  • 4329c588102e4410520f6a706700fe0e.jpg

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, second from right, and his brother Oleg, right, stand in a court room in Moscow before the start of a trial against them on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg face charges of allegedly laundering some millions of rubles from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher. ( AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin) (The Associated Press)

  • Russia Opposition Leader-3.jpg

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, right, and his brother Oleg, left, stand in a court room in Moscow before the start of a trial against them on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg face charges relating to the laundering some millions of rubles from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher. ( AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin) (The Associated Press)

A Moscow court has decided to keep Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny under house arrest rather than send him to jail pending trial.

After Navalny was convicted of libel earlier this week, his supporters said they expected the verdict would be used to jail him.

Instead, the court on Thursday ruled to extend his house arrest for six months. Navalny already has been under house arrest for two months.

Navalny, a lawyer who has led efforts to expose high-level government corruption, has faced criminal charges in several cases.

In the current case, Navalny and his brother are accused of defrauding the Russian unit of French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.