Russian court asked to restrict Navalny ally's freedoms for two years


Lyubov Sobol, a Russian opposition figure and a close ally of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, speaks with journalists after a court hearing in Moscow, Russia April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state prosecutors asked a court on Wednesday to find Lyubov Sobol, a close ally of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, guilty of breaching COVID-19 safety regulations and to impose a set of restrictions on her for two years, her lawyer said.

Prosecutors told the court to order Sobol to remain at home from 2200 to 0600 for the next two years, to ban her from attending mass events or political meetings and to have her check in with the police four times a month, her lawyer Vladimir Voronin said on Twitter.

Sobol, who says the charge against her is politically-motivated nonsense, was charged with breaching COVID-19 safety regulations at an unsanctioned street protest in support of Navalny earlier this year.

She was initially placed her under house arrest. Several close Navalny allies, including his brother, are being tried for the same offence.

Navalny himself is serving 2-1/2 years in jail for parole violations in an embezzlement case he says was trumped up. Navalny's allies accuse the authorities of using the law to crush dissenting voices ahead of September parliamentary elections.

(Reporting by Anton Zverev; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)

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