MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - The opposition Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was briefly detained Sunday over alleged violations during a rally, police said.
Navalny was “invited to a police precinct for a conversation in connection with violations” made during the rally he held for his supporters, a Moscow police representative told RIA Novosti.
In a video posted by Navalny’s team, two dozen police officers are seen going through the crowd to the stage on which the anti-corruption crusader was standing. Navalny is heard telling the crowd to “go home” and following the policemen.
About an hour later, Navalny said on Twitter that he had been taken to northeastern Moscow in a police van and released after a police officer told him that “nobody had detained him.”
Police also told RIA Novosti that 10 people were detained at Navalny’s rally for “petty hooliganism,” public drunkenness, improper installation of a temporary stage and the unsanctioned use of audio recording equipment.
Navalny was convicted in July of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in a penal colony, but in a surprise move, prosecutors then filed a request for him to be released from custody pending appeal.
Navalny, a whistle-blowing blogger well-known for leading mass protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin, has denounced the charges against him as politically motivated.
In addition to the embezzlement case, investigators have opened three other criminal cases against Navalny, on charges of embezzlement from a political party, deceiving an international cosmetics company, and illegally conspiring to privatize a distillery in central Russia.
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