Investigators launch new criminal investigation against Russian protest leader Navalny - InfoNews

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Investigators launch new criminal investigation against Russian protest leader Navalny

Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media as he arrives for questioning at the headquarters of the Russian Investigation committee in Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 30, 2012. Investigators have accused Navalny of causing damage to a state timber company, the charges that may carry a prison sentence of up to five years if his case goes to court and he's convicted.(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
July 31, 2012 - 5:23 AM

MOSCOW - Russia's top investigative agency says it has opened a new criminal probe against opposition leader Alexei Navalny on allegations of theft.

The 36-year-old corruption-fighting lawyer and popular blogger has played a key role in rallying Russia's young Internet generation against Vladimir Putin's rule.

Over the winter, Navalny spearheaded a series of opposition rallies in Moscow that drew up to 100,000 to the streets ahead of the March vote in which Putin won a third presidential term.

The State Investigative Committee said Tuesday that it suspects Navalny of organizing a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company. He may face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Navalny has denied any wrongdoing.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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