Top associate of Navalny convicted of trespassing in Russia

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Moscow

A top associate of Russia’s imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of trespassing Thursday and handed a suspended sentence of one year community service after she tried to doorstep an alleged security operative believed to be involved in Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

A court in Moscow found Lyubov Sobol, a politician and a key figure in Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, guilty of forcing her way into the apartment of a relative of the alleged operative whom Navalny had previously duped into revealing details of his supposed poisoning.

Sobol condemned the verdict as “shame and disgrace” and vowed to appeal.
“In the meantime, a (criminal) case into the attempt upon Navalny’s life hasn’t been even opened,” she said in a tweet.

Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, fell sick during an Aug. 20 flight in Russia and was flown to Berlin while still in a coma for treatment two days later.

Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.

The 44-year-old politician has blamed the poisoning on the Kremlin, accusations Russian officials have rejected.—AP

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