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Court Bailiffs Take Kremlin Foe Navalny To Kirov Court By Force


Aleksei Navalny, 40, was handed a five-year suspended sentence in the initial trial in the case, which he said was politically motivated punishment for his opposition activity.

MOSCOW -- Russian bailiffs are enforcing a court order requiring Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny to attend a hearing in his trial in the provincial city of Kirov.

Navalny spokesman Timur Korobitsyn told Interfax on January 31 that court bailiffs appeared at the office of Navalny's anticorruption group earlier in the day and took him away "to the airport."

Navalny wrote on Twitter the same day that bailiffs were taking him to their headquarters in Moscow even though he showed them a plane ticket to Kirov.

On January 30, the Kirov court ruled that Navalny and his co-defendant, Pyotr Ofitserov, must be compelled to appear after they stayed away from the last two hearings.

The next hearing at the court in Kirov, nearly 800 kilometers northeast of Moscow, is scheduled for February 1.

Russia's Supreme Court threw out the 2013 conviction of Navalny and Ofitserov on charges of large-scale theft involving timber sales and ordered the current retrial, which began in December.

Navalny, 40, was handed a five-year suspended sentence in the initial trial in the case, which he said was politically motivated punishment for his opposition activity.

Navalny was convicted of fraud in a separate case in 2014 and given a 3 1/2-year suspended sentence.

He has announced plans to run for president in 2018, but if he is convicted at the retrial he is likely to be barred from seeking political office.

With reporting by Interfax
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