Russian authorities say they are investigating claims that opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s anticorruption foundation misused donations from its supporters.
The federal Investigative Committee’s press office said on January 16 that the probe is being conducted at the request of Russian State Duma Deputy Mikhail Degtyarev, who has accused the organization of defrauding supporters who contributed money to the group.
Investigative Committee officers launched a search on the foundation’s offices earlier in the day, though the agency’s press office said that operation was linked to a separate investigation into the alleged theft of funds from a liberal political party by a Navalny-owned company in 2007.
Navalny's supporters say he is being targeted by a Kremlin-driven campaign to punish him for leading opposition protests and spearheading anticorruption investigations against powerful allies of President Vladimir Putin.
Navalny was convicted of large-scale theft on December 30 and given a 3 1/2 year suspended sentence.
He was ordered to remain under house arrest until his appeals are exhausted, which he says is illegal.
With reporting by ovdinfo.ru