GO
Loading...

Russian protest leader Navalny sentenced to 5 years in jail

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A Russian judge sentenced protest leader Alexei Navalny to five years in prison on Thursday after convicting him of large-scale theft in a trial Navalny said was politically motivated.

Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin's biggest critics, hugged his wife and shook his father's hand before he was led away from court handcuffed to a law enforcement officer.

The sentence was immediately denounced by rights activists and Kremlin critics, many of whom say the trial was part of a clampdown on dissent in Putin's third presidential term. Prosecutors had asked for six years.

Navalny, who emerged from rallies against Putin last year as the opposition's most dynamic leader, was convicted of organizing the theft of timber worth more than 16 million roubles ($494,400) while advising the Kirov governor in 2009.

Judge Sergei Blinov said there was no extenuating circumstances that would warrant keeping Navalny out of prison with a suspended sentence, and that he could not be "corrected" without being isolated from society.

Russian shares fell after the sentence was issued.


Contact Europe News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More

Europe Video

  • The FBI have stated that North Korea's government is responsible for the Sony attack. Neil Ashdown, deputy head of Asia analysis at IHS, weighs in, saying that it's difficult to "definitively attribute" a hacking attack to a particular group or state.

  • What were the main highlights of the EU Summit in Brussels? CNBC's Hadley Gamble gives you the lowdown.

  • Carnival Cruises earnings have beaten expectations in its fourth quarter, with lower fuel prices being a great help, says David Dingle, UK chairman of Carnival Cruises.