World

Putin foe Alexei Navalny arrives at court to hear verdict in fraud case

  • Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, center, his wife Yulia, right, and his brother Oleg Navalny, left, smile at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, center, his wife Yulia, right, and his brother Oleg Navalny, left, smile at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, smiles upon arrival at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, smiles upon arrival at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, second right, his wife Yulia, right, and his brother Oleg Navalny, second left, with his wife, stand at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

    Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, 38, second right, his wife Yulia, right, and his brother Oleg Navalny, second left, with his wife, stand at a court in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Moscow court on Monday moved up the date of its verdict in a criminal case against President Vladimir Putin's top foe Navalny in an apparent bid to derail a planned protest. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)  (The Associated Press)

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.