20:26 GMT01 March 2021
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    Alexey Navalny, Russian opposition figure, is going to run for presidential post in 2018 in case the court rules against imprisonment, Navalny's lawyers told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny will be able to run for presidential post in 2018 in case the court rules against imprisonment, Navalny's lawyers told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "This is a direct action of the constitution — if he is not be imprisoned, he can participate in the elections," Olga Mikhailova said.

    The second lawyer, Ivan Zhdanov, added that in this case the verdict "would not entail any legal barriers' for Navalny's nomination.

    The lawyers said they believed that the verdict would be annulled anyway.

    Earlier in the day, a court in the Russian city of Kirov began announcing the guilty verdict to Navalny over embezzlement of of 16 million rubles ($270,000) from the state-run KirovLes company. While the sentencing is presently continuing, the penalty will be announced later.

    During the first hearing on the case in 2013, Navalny received five years of imprisonment, but the Kirov Court later changed the decision for a suspended sentence. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction under the decree by the European Court of Human Rights and remitted the matter for a new trial. While the Russian prosecutor’s office demanded to give Navalny five years of suspended prison sentence, the embezzlement on a grand scale is normally punished by 10 years of imprisonment.

    In December, Navalny announced his decision to participate in the 2018 presidential election, while the Central Election Commission (CEC) admitted that the prospects of his presidential bid depended on the outcome of the embezzlement case.


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    participation, presidential election, Central Election Commission, Russia
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