Russia on December 29 launched a probe against the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny for ‘fraud’, alleging that his Anti-Corruption firm FBK used more than 356 million rubles ($4.8 million) charity funds for personal use, including paying expenses from a holiday overseas. Russia’s Investigative Committee, separately, also commenced an investigation against the former for defamation of a Moscow district court judge, according to sources of Russian news agency TASS. Navalny now faced a criminal case against charges of embezzlement of 356 million rubles collected from nonprofit organizations.
In a statement, cited by TASS, the Investigative Committee said that Navalny’s firm misused Anti-Corruption Fund that it had ‘exclusively’ raised from NGOs. It added that the Main Investigative Directorate of Russia’s Investigative Committee collected enough information that confirms that Navalny used the money to purchase “personal property (and) material assets and to pay expenses (including holidays abroad)”. He now has charged over signs of ‘fraud’ of a large scale, the committee said in a release.