A Moscow court has ordered two prominent opposition leaders and their foundation to pay 88 million rubles ($1.4 million) in compensation to a company associated with President Vladimir Putin’s personal chef.
The court ruled on October 28 that Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation financially damaged the business interests of Moscow Pupil, a food supplier to schools in the nation’s capital, the opposition leader said on his Instagram page.
Lyubov Sobol, a member of the Anti-Corruption Foundation who helped lead protests in Moscow this summer, is among the defendents named in the lawsuit. Moscow Pupil is connected to Yeveny Prigozhin, who is considered a close associate of Putin.
The Anti-Corruption Foundation published a video blaming Prigozhin’s company for a breakout of food poisoning in Moscow schools and kindergardens in December. Russia’s Investigative Committee pointed the finger at another supplier named VITO-1, Russian daily Kommersant reported.
Moscow Pupil said it lost a major supply contract because of Navalny’s video. As part of its ruling in favor of Moscow Pupil, the court also demanded the Anti-Corruption Foundation delete the video.
“So, they poisoned childing in schools and kindergardents. Cases of dysentery have been documented. However, we should pay,” Navalny said in a statement on his Instagram page.