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Article updated: 7/19/2013 9:35 AM

Russian opposition leader Navalny released

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, embraces his wife Yulia, as he was released in a courtroom in Kirov, Russia Friday, July 19, 2013. A Russian court on Friday released opposition leader Alexei Navalny from custody less than 24 hours after he was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. The release came after a surprise request by prosecutors, who said that because Navalny is a candidate in this fall's Moscow mayoral race keeping him in custody would deny him his right to seek election.

Associated Press

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A Russian court Friday freed charismatic opposition leader Alexei Navalny from custody less than 24 hours after he was convicted of embezzlement, a surprise release he attributed to protests over a five-year prison sentence seen by supporters as a blatantly political attempt to silence a Kremlin foe. In an unusual move, prosecutors requested that the Moscow mayoral candidate be let go pending appeal so he could participate in the race in the fall.
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