Russian authorities initiate criminal case against Alexei Navalny for fraud
Evgeny Feldman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Russian authorities initiate criminal case against Alexei Navalny for fraud

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 arrestsfines 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.

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