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Police Search Moscow Offices Of Khodorkovsky-Founded Organization

  • RFE/RL

Russian police on April 16 searched the Moscow offices of Open Russia, a pro-democracy initiative founded by the exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Open Russia said several police officers entered the organization’s Moscow office after presenting a search warrant.

Open Russia released a copy of the search warrant, which accused the organization of planning to print leaflets calling for "extremist activities."

The search warrant also alleged that Open Russia was planning to distribute the leaflets at an opposition rally in Moscow on April 19.

Khodorkovsky's press secretary Olga Pispanen told Dozhd TV that the group never planned to take part in the April 19 rally.

Russian opposition groups announced on April 15 that they would hold single-person actions in Moscow on April 19 rather than gathering together for a mass protest rally, which requires approval from authorities.

Khodorkovsky currently resides in Switzerland after serving more than 10 years in a Russian jail on embezzlement charges.

He maintains his innocence and says authorities filed politically motivated charges against him because of his opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With additional reporting by