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Russian Electoral Rights Group's Bookkeeper Questioned

SAMARA, Russia -- Russian police have searched the apartment of the bookkeeper for the independent electoral-rights group Golos (Voice) branch in the Volga River city of Samara.

The group's regional leader Lyudmila Kuzmina (eds: a woman) told RFE/RL that the April 1 search was linked to a tax-evasion case she called politically motivated.

Bookkeeper Liliya Chibarchikova (eds: a woman) was interrogated after the search. The interrogators implied that Chibarchikova might have been involved in the alleged theft of at least 2 million rubles ($34,500) through tax evasion.

However, Kuzmina said Chibarchikova presented documents proving the group's regional branch got its financial support from tax-exempt donations.

On March 30, investigators in Samara sealed Kuzmina's apartment and impounded her car in connection with the same investigation.

Golos has irked President Vladimir Putin's government by documenting claims of violations in key votes, including a fraud-marred 2011 parliamentary election that sparked street protests.