Russian protest leader Navalny charged in new probe

20th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Thursday investigators had laid fresh charges against him, for fraud and money laundering, in a new probe that also involved his brother.

"Fraud on an especially large scale and laundering. I criminally founded a firm that offered services," Navalny sarcastically wrote on his Twitter account, moments before Russia's powerful Investigative Committee announced the charges on its website.

"Alexei and Oleg Navalny have been charged with fraud and money laundering," the investigators said in their statement.

The Investigative Committee announced on December 14 ahead of a major unsanctioned opposition rally that it had opened a probe into Navalny, the most charismatic leader of the protests against President Vladimir Putin, and his brother.

The two "embezzled 55 million rubles ($1.8 million, 1.3 million euros) from a trading company" and transferred some of the money to another firm they owned to launder the funds, the Investigative Committee said.

© 2012 AFP

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