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Navalny's Legal Team Appeals Conviction

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny inside a glass-walled dock in court in Kirov on July 19.
Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny's legal team has filed an appeal against his conviction and sentencing for embezzlement from a state timber company.

Lawyer Vadim Kobzev said he had appealed to the Kirov Regional Court to cancel the "illegal and unjustified" five-year prison sentence and fine handed down against the antigraft blogger on July 18.

Navalny was unexpectedly released from custody the following day pending appeal.

The appeal also covered Pyotr Ofitserov, who was sentenced to four years in prison as Navalny's accomplice in allegedly scheming to steal $500,000 from the Kirovles firm in 2009.

Navalny and his supporters say the case against him is a Kremlin-driven effort to stop his Moscow mayoral bid and his activism.

The Kirov court has 30 days to rule on the appeal.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Reuters