A Moscow court on Saturday rejected Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s appeal against his prison sentence.
The Moscow City Court’s ruling came even as the country faced a top European rights courts order to free the Kremlins most prominent foe.
Navalny, 44, an anti-corruption crusader and President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, was arrested on January 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation.
Earlier this month, he was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for violating terms of his probation while recuperating in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated and the European Court of Human Rights has ruled to be unlawful. Navalny has asked the Moscow City Court to overturn the sentence and set him free.