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Pro-Navalny protesters detained outside Moscow court ahead of decision on whether activist violated terms of probation

Pro-Navalny protesters detained outside Moscow court ahead of decision on whether activist violated terms of probation
A number of supporters of opposition figure Alexey Navalny have been detained by police after they gathered outside a Moscow court where the activist is standing trial over claims that he violated terms of a suspended sentence.

Navalny was brought to hearing on Tuesday morning and his team had called on members of the public to protest on his behalf. That prompted a heavy police presence. 

According to local media, around two dozen people were detained outside of the court before the trial began. The protesters were taken into a police bus, footage from the scene shows.

The court is expected to determine whether to replace Navalny’s suspended sentence with real jail time after he allegedly broke the terms of a previous suspended sentence. The opposition activist was arrested on January 17 upon returning to Russia from Germany, where he was treated following an alleged poisoning last summer.

While Navalny was arrested for violating probation handed down form a fraud case involving French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher, his supporters claim he is being persecuted for political reasons. The arrest has led to large-scale protests that have rocked Moscow, as well as many other Russian cities, over the last two weekends.

Also on rt.com Top Navalny aide asked alleged British spy for millions in funding, intelligence video released by Russia's FSB claims to reveal

The alleged poisoning triggered a major scandal, with Navalny’s supporters and some international observers claiming it was a state-sponsored hit involving the notorious Novichok nerve agent. The Russian authorities have denied attempting to kill Navalny, and have accused him of working with foreign intelligence services.

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