Russian officials bring new fraud charges against Alexei Navalny

Russian officials bring new fraud charges against Alexei Navalny
Alexei Navalny, pictured during a phone call with one of his alleged would-be assassins, says the charges are a response to his hunt for those who tried to kill him. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Russian officials have brought new charges against opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The state investigators say Mr Navalny fraudulently spent public donations on his personal needs.

Russia’s Investigative Committee accuses Mr Navalny of spending more than $4.8m (£3.55m) of public donations to his organisations on personal acquisitions. The committee deals with serious crimes.

It says Mr Navalny used the funds to buy material goods, acquire property and pay for expenses such as overseas travel.

Mr Navalny, who is convalescing in Germany after being poisoned, described the case as a fabrication and “hysterics” from President Vladimir Putin.

Russian officials has repeatedly denied Mr Navalny’s claims the president was behind the near-fatal attack in August.

Earlier this month, a report published by investigative group Bellingcat and Western media blamed FSB agents for the poisoning, carried out with the nerve agent Novichok.

The new charges come days after Navalny’s ally Lyubov Sobol was detained in the capital Moscow after an early-morning raid on her home.

She is suspected of threatening a Federal Security Service (FSB) agent, who Mr Navalny, a fierce critic of Mr Putin, says was involved in poisoning him.

Last week, the Russian opposition leader posted a recording of a 45-minute conversation with the agent, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, on his YouTube channel, in which he apparently tricked him into divulging details of the attempt on his life.

The video has been viewed more than 21 million times so far.

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