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Russian Court Rejects Bid To Put Putin Foe Navalny Behind Bars

Opposition leader and anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow on August 14.

A court in Moscow has rejected a prosecutor's request to put opposition leader Aleksei Navalny into pretrial detention.

Navalny and his brother Oleg being are being tried on charges of stealing $760,000 from an affiliate of French cosmetics company Yves Rocher and laundering the money.

The prosecution on August 29 asked the court to incarcerate Navalny, saying that he had violated the conditions of his house arrest by talking to journalists and commenting on the probe against him.

That was the third unsuccessful attempt by prosecutors to send Navalny to pretrial detention.

Navalny, a foe of President Vladimir Putin who helped lead a wave of protests in 2011-12, has been under house arrest since February.

He serving a five-year suspended sentence on a 2013 conviction and has been targeted in several cases he says are politically motivated.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS