The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced on Tuesday that it had initiated a criminal investigation against Alexei Navalny, a prominent leader of the Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin’s leadership. According to the investigation, Navalny, as head of various non-profit organizations such as the Fund for Organization and Coordination of the Protection of Citizens’ Rights and the Anti-Corruption Fund, used donations to these non-profits to fund personal expenses. The announcement states:
[Navalny] spent more than 356 million rubles [over 4.7 million dollars] of this amount for personal purposes – the acquisition of personal property, material values and payment of expenses (including holidays abroad).Thus, the funds collected from citizens were stolen.
The investigation follows several attempts at impeding Navalny’s activism, including a series of false arrests, fines against Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund, accusations of laundering money, and even poisoning of Navalny.
Navalny responded to the accusations on Twitter, stating that Putin’s regime “will try to put me in jail because I did not die…” He further stated, “Putin is personally behind everything. He is a thief, ready to kill those who refuse to remain silent about his theft.”
The investigation will continue to determine the identity of other individuals involved and is expected to culminate in a charge for fraud on a large scale under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Did you know that about 30 percent of charitable giving happens in December?
It’s an important month for nonprofits like JURIST that rely on donor support. Your gift of $50, $100, $200, or $500 will help JURIST to keep its legal news and commentary free and accessible to a worldwide public.
Thanks for your support!