Russia opens criminal probe into Alexei Navalny's ally over 'threat'

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Dec 25, 2020, 12:40 PM(IST)

Alexei Navalny Photograph:( Reuters )

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had earlier said police raided Sobol's apartment and detained her after he tricked a security service agent into admitting he was poisoned.

Russian authorities have opened a criminal probe into an ally of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Lyubov Sobol, alleging she threatened a person he claimed took part in his poisoning.

Ivan Zhdanov, head of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund, wrote on Twitter that investigators launched a probe into trespassing "with the use of violence or a threat to use it" after Sobol rang the doorbell of the alleged Federal Security Service (FSB) agent.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had earlier said police raided Sobol's apartment and detained her after he tricked a security service agent into admitting he was poisoned.

Navalny on Monday said he had impersonated an official in the Kremlin's Security Council and got an admission of guilt from a toxins expert with the FSB domestic intelligence that poison had been placed in his underwear in August to kill him.

In the most recent explanation, Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund said on Twitter: "Today, police came to Lyubov Sobol's apartment at 7 am."

Sobol, a lawyer by training, has announced plans to run for parliament next year.

The 33-year-old's phone was switched off and both Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmyash and the head of Navalny's fund, Ivan Zhdanov, said they did not know where she was. 

Sobol's husband and daughter have been allowed to leave the flat.

Western governments say Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-designed nerve agent in a stunning case that has further dented Moscow's relations with leading European countries and sparked mutual sanctions.

Sobol went to the Moscow apartment where the man Navalny had spoken to is believed to live on Monday evening. She was detained and spent more than six hours at a police station.

Furthermore, writing on Twitter on Friday, Navalny linked the police raid to Sobol's attempt to speak to the FSB agent he identified as Konstantin Kudryavtsev.

(with inputs from AFP)

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