MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court has announced a date for the appeals trial of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was convicted of embezzlement earlier this year.
Navalny, who recently ran a surprisingly strong campaign for the position of Moscow mayor, announced on Twitter Friday that the trial would start on Oct. 9. The statement was confirmed by his press secretary.
A Russian courthouse in the town of Kirov set Navalny free in July, the day after he was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison. Navalny has appealed both the conviction and the sentence.
Many have interpreted the release as an effort to ensure that the Moscow mayoral elections appeared fair and competitive. Navalny performed unexpectedly well, snagging 27 percent of the vote.