Opposition activist Alexei Navalny will be discover his fate on Tuesday 30 December after a Russian court brought the date of his fraud case verdict forward by two weeks.

The surprise change was announced after Navalny's supporters announced their own plans for a massive protest rally to be held on 15 January, the initial date for the verdict revelation.

Navalny and his brother Oleg are both on trial, accused of defrauding two companies.

The brothers deny charges that they stole 30m rubles (£338,500, $526,000) from the firms.

The rescheduled court date comes just ahead of the new year holiday in Russia, the country's biggest holiday.

Alexei Navalny became a household name when he led street protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2011. He has faced numerous criminal charges, which he says are fabricated and politically motivated.

The case is due to begin its conclusion at 9am local time (6am GMT) and is likely to last several hours.