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Navalny says he is facing three new probes

May 25, 2021

The fresh allegations include the theft of donations from his anti-corruption foundation, creating an organization in violation of human rights and insulting a judge.

Alexei Navalny
Navalny said on Instagram that he is facing three additional charges, including theft.Image: Moscow City Court Press Service/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Tuesday that he is facing three additional criminal probes.

"My influential criminal syndicate is growing," Navalny quipped in an Instagram post, adding that more than 20 investigators were involved in the fresh allegations. "I am a genius and puppet master of the criminal underworld."

He said investigators were looking into the theft of donations from his anti-corruption foundation (FBK), creating an organization in violation of human rights, and insulting a judge.

Alexei Navalny Video-Link
Navalny ended a three-week hunger strike last monthImage: Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow/Reuters

What exactly are the new probes?

Elaborating on those allegations, Navalny, citing a senior representative of Russia's Investigative Committee, said he had been accused of "stealing" donations that were given to FBK, while insulting a judge had also been added to his ever-growing list of charges.

In February, a prosecutor called upon the Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, to check if Navalny's statements during one of his trials could be deemed as insulting.

Additionally, Navalny is facing accusations of creating a noncommercial organization and encouraging Russians not to perform "their civic duties" by publishing an investigation into President Vladimir Putin's alleged wealth.

Less than two days after his January arrest at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, Navalny's team released a report about a sprawling, opulent Black Sea palace allegedly owned by Putin, something the Russian president denies. The YouTube video has since gone on to get 116 million views.

"I'm becoming a more hardened criminal every day," Navalny said. "So don't think I'm only sitting in a cell, drinking tea and doing nothing."

Navalny revealed he learned about the new cases from an investigator who visited him in custody on Monday.

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Already in prison on old fraud charges

Navalny was arrested in January upon returning from Germany after recovering from a poisoning attack he says was orchestrated by the Kremlin. Moscow denies any involvement.

One of Putin's most outspoken critics, Navalny is currently serving a two-and-a-half year term in a penal colony outside Moscow on old fraud charges he says are politically motivated.

His imprisonment has drawn widespread global condemnation.

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jsi/rc (AFP, Reuters)