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Russian prosecutors investigating lawyer critical of government wiretaps

[JURIST] A prominent Russian lawyer and government critic was accused Tuesday of disclosing state secrets about government wiretapping to the Russian Constitutional Court [RIN backgrounder]. Boris Kuznetsov [American Russian Law Institute profile] fled the country recently after a city court approved a criminal investigation last week; Tuesday's move by the Moscow prosecutor's office formally opened the investigation. The probe of Kuznetsov stems from his representation of former parliamentarian Levon Chakhmakhchyan, whose telephone conversations were recorded by the Federal Security Service [official website, in Russian] without court authorization.

Russia has lately seen increasing official pressure put on lawyers representing high-profile clients critical of the government. In the past, Kuznetsov has represented numerous government opponents, including the family of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC report; JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

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