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Navalny Case Returned To Prosecutors Over 'Violations'

Kremlin critic and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny (right) and his brother Oleg stand in a courtroom in Moscow on April 24.
A court in Moscow has returned to prosecutors the case against prominent Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny and his brother Oleg.

The decision came shortly after preliminary hearings into the case resumed on April 28. Aleksei Navalny and his brother are accused of stealing and laundering $756,500 from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

The defendants' lawyers urged the judge to return the case to prosecutors citing "numerous violations" during investigations.

Navalny denies any wrongdoing, saying he and his brother are being persecuted for his outspoken criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Last week, a court extended by six months Navalny's two-months house arrest in connection with a different case.

Navalny, an anticorruption blogger, is already serving a five-year suspended sentence on a $500,000 theft conviction he says was also a Kremlin reprisal.
Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS