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Navalny Campaign Chief Gets 20 Days In Jail Hours After Release

Leonid Volkov leads Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's election campaign. (file photo)

Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's election campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, has been sentenced to 20 days in jail, hours after an appeals court threw out an initial order for his incarceration.

The ruling came late on October 5 after Volkov was released when the Moscow City Court canceled the 20-day administrative custody order handed down by a lower court on October 2, but then was detained again later in the day.

In a late-evening Twitter post, Volkov wrote that a court ruled that he had called for Navalny's supporters to take part in an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow on October 7 and again sentenced him to 20 days in jail.

A lawyer for Volkov, Ivan Zhdanov, said earlier that the original case against him had been sent for reinvestigation by the authorities in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod, where he was initially arrested.

Navalny and Volkov were found guilty of calling for an unsanctioned rally in Nizhny Novgorod in late September and sentenced to 20 days in jail, each by different courts in Moscow on October 2.

Navalny, a foe of President Vladimir Putin, is campaigning for Russia's March 2018 presidential election despite a statement from the Central Election Committee that he cannot run because of a conviction in a financial-crimes case he says was politically motivated.

Navalny and his supporters plan to hold protests across Russia on October 7, Putin's 65th birthday, in defiance of the Kremlin's warning that organizers of unsanctioned public gatherings will be prosecuted.

Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a new six-year term in the presidential election.

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