Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader to President Putin, a former mayoral candidate in Moscow and a crusader for anticorruption, has been in the spotlight for trials motivated by politics. However, finally something positive was the outcome.
An appeals court in Russia suspended on Wednesday the prison sentence of five years given to Navalny this summer. The court’s ruling, said some observers, highlights the attempts of the current administration to keep the demonstrations by the opposition and international criticism to a minimum.
With much of it, due to the lead up of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the administration does not want the international community to frown up it when it is in the international spotlight.
In his hearing on Wednesday, Navalny told the presiding judge that the political motivation is obvious in his case. He noted that the case by the prosecution was based upon testimony that was false and that he was not given an opportunity to present witnesses in his defense.
Everything that took place last summer and that happened today depends upon Putin, said Navalny. All prosecutors, lawyers and judges have become just extras in his show.
A lower court in July handed Navalny a conviction for embezzlement. He became prominent during the street protests in 2011 and in 2012 against President Putin.
Following the court’s ruling, Navalny was released while he awaits the outcome of his current appeal.
In today’s Russia, there have been clamping down on dissidents against the current administration including the conviction of a punk rock band.