Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is a leading foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has arrived at a Moscow court where the verdict is to be announced in a fraud case against him.

Navalny smiled as he arrived in a police car at the court on Tuesday morning.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The verdict was to have been announced next month, but the court session was abruptly moved forward on Monday, leading to speculation that authorities wanted to impede possible protests if he is convicted. The verdict comes as Russians are preparing for New Year's and Orthodox Christmas.