The Moscow City Court has ruled to reduce activist Konstantin Kotov’s four-year jail sentence for “multiple beaches” of  Russia’s protest law to 18 months, while also ruling that the guilty verdict was lawful, the RBC news website reported Monday, citing the court’s press-service.

The hearing was reportedly conducted without visitors and journalists because of coronavirus distancing rules.

The 35-year-old computer programmer was arrested last year after repeated participation in summer protests over Moscow’s parliamentary  election. 

Kotov, who was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was the second person in Russia to be prosecuted for breaking the protest lawl.

President Vladimir Putin said in December he would look at Kotov’s case and instructed federal prosecutors a month later to review his prison sentence.

Kotov’s defense team has demanded that his sentence is annulled and he is immediately released.