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Russian authorities open new criminal case against Alexei Navalny – POLITICO

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his allies have been accused of setting up an “extremist group,” Russia’s commission of inquiry, which is examining major crimes, said in a statement on Tuesday. If convicted, Bloomberg reported, Navalny could face up to 10 years in prison.

“This is already the FOURTH criminal case that has been brought against Alexei while he is imprisoned,” Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmish wrote on Twitter.

The investigation is the latest escalation in the conflict between Navalny and the Russian authorities. In June, the Navalny anti-corruption foundation was banned for being “extremist” by a Russian court. In August, Navalny and his allies were accused of creating “a nonprofit organization that undermines people and the rights of citizens,” the commission of inquiry said in a statement.

Navalny was arrested earlier this year and sentenced to two and a half years in prison after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was recovering from poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok, an attack he blames on the Russian state. The Kremlin has denied any involvement.