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Criminal Case Brought Over Nemtsov Cell Phone Leaks

Police have opened a criminal case in connection with the leak last month of telephone conversations of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Interfax reported.

Telephone recordings of Nemtsov in which he disparages other opposition figures were published last month by pro-Kremlin tabloid Life News, apparently in an attempt to cause dissension among the opposition ahead of a major rally.

Nemtsov, one of the leaders of unregistered liberal party Parnas, said at the time that the News of the World-style leaks were illegal and that he would sue Life News over their publication.

On Tuesday, Nemtsov told Interfax that an investigator had called him and said a case had been opened in connection with the illegal tapping and publication of telephone conversations.

"I really hope that the people who found those conversations appear before a judge and receive the punishment they deserve. They could receive up to four years [in prison]," Nemtsov said.

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