MOSCOW, February 20 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Saturday upheld a lower court’s ruling replacing suspended sentence given to Alexey Navalny in the Ives Rocher embezzlement case with imprisonment, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.

However, the court granted the defendant’s appeal in part and took into account time Navalny served under house arrest from December 30, 2014 to February 18, 2015. Thus, the blogger is to serve about 2.5 years in jail.

In early February, the court ordered Navalny to be jailed for 3.5 years.Taking into account the term Navalny spent under house arrest he is to serve over 2.5 years in prison. 

In December 2014, Navalny received a 3.5-year suspended sentence, a 500,000-ruble fine ($6,500 at the current exchange rate) for embezzlement and 5-year probation after the sentence is served. In August 2017, probation was extended for a year. 

In August 2020, a plane departed from Tomsk to Moscow with Navalny onboard urgently landed in Omsk after the blogger became heartily sick. He was taken to a hospital in coma. Later, he was transported to Berlin. Russian medics said no poison was found in his body.

In late December, FSIN officials warned Navalny of the possible replacement of his suspended sentence with a real prison term because of breaching obligations imposed by court and evasion of the penitentiary control. According to the penitentiary authorities, Navalny left a German hospital yet in September. However, he has failed to appear in a correctional inspection as necessary since then.

On January 17, the blogger was arrested at the Sheremetyevo Airport on his return from Germany based on the search warrant issued in late December. Upon a court order, he was placed in detention until February 15.

Currently, the blogger is also a defendant in two other criminal cases: over fraud and defamation against war veteran Ignat Artemenko.