Prosecutors ask to free Russian opposition leader

Associated Press
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, right, and his former colleague Pyotr Ofitserov, left, are seen through a cage window in a courtroom in Kirov, Russia on Friday, July 19, 2013. A Russian court is deliberating on a surprise request by prosecutors to free opposition leader Alexei Navalny one day after he was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. (AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman)
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KIROV, Russia (AP) — A Russian court is deliberating on a surprise request by prosecutors to free opposition leader Alexei Navalny one day after he was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison.

Navalny is a registered candidate for this fall's Moscow mayoral election. The request put Friday to the court for the Kirov region said incarceration would prevent him from exercising his right to seek election and asked that he be freed pending completion of the appeal process for his embezzlement conviction.

It was not clear how long the court's three-judge panel would deliberate.

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