Prosecutor asks court to sentence Russian opposition leader Navalny to 6 years in prison

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A prosecutor has asked a court to convict a Russian opposition leader of embezzlement and sentence him to six years in prison.

Alexei Navalny, who led protests against President Vladimir Putin and exposed alleged government corruption, is accused of heading a criminal group that embezzled $500,000 worth of timber from a state-owned company while working as an adviser to a provincial governor in 2009.

Prosecutor Sergei Bogdanov told the court Friday that Navalny should also be fined 1 million rubles ($30,000). Navalny will make his closing argument later on Friday.

Navalny, who wants to challenge Moscow's mayoral race, says the charges are revenge for his exposure of high-level corruption and are intended to silence him.