A COURT in Russia has rejected political prisoner Alexei Navalny’s second appeal of his nine-year sentence.
The 46-year-old dissident is serving the sentence, handed to him in March on charges of fraud and contempt of court, in a high-security prison.
Mr Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe, was arrested in January 2021 after returning from Germany, where he had been recuperating from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.
Russian authorities deny the charge.
He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for a parole violation the west has called politically motivated.
In March, he was sentenced to nine years in a separate case on charges of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised over the years and of insulting a judge during a previous trial.
Mr Navalny has rejected the allegations as politically motivated.
His first appeal was rejected in May.
Mr Navalny’s arrest last year triggered the biggest protests seen in Russia in recent years.
In response, Mr Putin’s government unleashed a sweeping crackdown on his organisation, associates and supporters.
Several criminal cases have been launched against Mr Navalny individually, leading his associates to suggest the Kremlin intends to keep him behind bars indefinitely.