Prosecutors at an appeals hearing in Moscow are asking that opposition leader Alexei Navalny be sent to prison for 10 years.

Navalny was convicted in late December of fraud and given a 3 1/2 -year suspended sentence while his brother was sent to prison on charges of defrauding a French cosmetics company.

Russia news agencies on Tuesday quoted prosecutors at the appeals hearing at the Moscow city court saying that the gravity of the crime that Navalny allegedly committed calls for a prison sentence of 10 years.

Navalny, who was the driving force behind the 2011-2012 mass protests in Moscow, is organizing major anti-government protests in several Russian cities in March.