[JURIST] Russian lawyer and government critic Boris Kuznetsov [ARLI profile] applied for political asylum in the US Tuesday. Kuznetsov fled Russia in July 2007 after a court approved a criminal investigation against him for allegedly divulging state wiretapping secrets by turning over evidence to the Russian Constitutional Court [official website, in Russian] that his client, former parliamentarian Levon Chakhmakhchyan, had been wiretapped by the Federal Security Service [official website, in Russian] without court authorization. The same month, the Moscow prosecutor's office formally opened an investigation [JURIST report] into Kuznetsov. AP has more.
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].