Russia has opened criminal proceedings against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the government’s commission of inquiry said on Tuesday. The opposition leader, along with others, is accused of embezzling millions of euros.
The Russians accuse Navalny of spending money from nonprofits affiliated with him for personal purposes such as vacationing abroad.
The organizations raised more than 588 million rubles (about 6.5 million euros). Of these, Navalny and the other suspects allegedly embezzled some 356 million rubles (around 4 million euros), researchers said.
Navalny, an open critic of President Vladimir Putin, himself responded Twitter on what he claims “hysterical action” by the Russian president. Ally Lyubov Sobol, who was herself arrested by Russian police last week, also criticizes the case and calls it “nonsense” and “a sign of panic” on the part of the authorities.
Navalny faces prison sentence upon return to Russia
Navalny was previously given a 3.5-year suspended prison sentence in 2014 for embezzling corporate money. On Monday, the FSIN prison service announced that this suspended prison sentence could potentially be converted to a final prison sentence if Navalny does not show up in Moscow by Tuesday morning.
Navalny has been in Germany since being poisoned by the nervous poison novichok in late August. He is still working on his recovery there, according to a spokesperson. According to the politician and his supporters, Putin is responsible for the attempted murder. However, Russian authorities deny having anything to do with the poisoning.
Last week Navalny posted a video in which he revealed how a former FSB member admitted to being ordered to kill him. Sobol went to watch the video at the home of the relevant employee of the Russian security service, and was therefore accused for intrusion.
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