MOSCOW (AP) — A judge at an appeals hearing in Moscow upheld prison sentences for a prominent Russian opposition activist and his brother on Tuesday.
Alexei Navalny was convicted in late December of fraud and given a 3 1/2 -year suspended sentence. His brother was sent to prison on charges of defrauding a French cosmetics company.
Prosecutors at the appeals hearing had asked that Navalny be sent to prison for 10 years. A judge turned that down, upholding the suspended sentence, but annulled a 500,000-ruble ($7,945) fine that he was due to pay. His brother's sentence was also upheld.
Navalny, the driving force behind the 2011-2012 mass protests in Moscow, is organizing anti-government protests in several Russian cities in March. Since his brother was sent to prison in December, Navalny has repeatedly violated his house arrest, flouting Russian court orders in place since February.