Remember Yury Fink, the Russian businessman who authored two online appeals to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin?
A Moscow court has now sentenced him to six years in prison after a conviction of embezzling some $1.5 million.
Fink's case drew public attention this spring when the entrepreneur, freshly released on bail after a year in pretrial detention, posted two video clips on Youtube pleading to Medvedev and Putin to protect him and his company from raiders.
In the clip
, he accused law-enforcement officials of seeking to take control of his company, which develops and sells transportation safety systems.
Fink -- a former musician who counts famous pop composer Igor Krutoi and singer Lev Leshchenko among his close friends -- also said he feared for his life if convicted.
The video's effects were quickly felt: Fink was swiftly brought back to pretrial detention on charges of "spreading false information through the media."
Russian Internet users may now think twice before asking their leaders a favor.
-- Claire Bigg