Germany Calls for Release of Alexei Navalny

The German government has demanded the immediate release of Russia’s staunch critic Alexei Navalny.

Navalny was found guilty of fraud and embezzlement charges, including contempt of court following a verdict handed down on Tuesday. 

In a statement published on state news agency Deutsche Welle (DW), the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the verdict saying it is “an open act of arbitrariness”. 

“He (Navalny) joins the systematic exploitation of the Russian judicial system against dissidents and the political opposition,” the German ministry said. 

Navalny is facing nine years in a maximum-security prison and was also ordered to pay a fine of 1.2 million rubles ($11,500).

Navalny is already serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence at a prison camp east of Moscow for parole violations related to the charges. 

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