The State Investigation Committee announced, Tuesday, that Russia has opened a criminal case against opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The opposition leader, along with others, is accused of embezzling millions of euros.
The Russians accuse Navalny of spending money from his non-profit organizations for personal purposes such as vacations abroad.
The organizations raised more than 588 million rubles (about 6.5 million euros). Among them, the researchers said, Navalny and the other suspects embezzled around 356 million rubles (about 4 million euros).
Navalny, a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, responded himself Twitter About what is believed to be a “hysterical act” by the Russian president. The ally of Lyubov Sobol, who was arrested by Russian police last week, is also critical of the case, describing this as “nonsense” and a “sign of panic” on the part of the authorities.
Navalny could face a prison sentence upon his return to Russia
Navalny already received a suspended 3.5-year prison sentence in 2014 for embezzling money from companies. On Monday, the FSIN Prison Service announced that this suspended prison sentence would likely be converted into a final prison sentence if Navalny does not present to Moscow before Tuesday morning.
Navalny has been in Germany since he was poisoned by the nerve poison Novichok at the end of August. His spokesman stated that he was still working on his recovery there. According to the politician and his supporters, Putin was responsible for the assassination attempt. But the Russian authorities deny any connection with the poisoning.
Last week, Navalny posted a video in which he revealed how a former FSB member confessed to having received orders to kill him. Sobol went to watch the video at the home of the Russian security service employee, and subsequently he was accused of trespassing.