Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Federal Investigators Take Over Navalny Case

Alexander Bastrykin Maxim Stulov

Hours after the nation’s top investigator said a criminal case against opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been closed “on the sly,” he ordered it transferred to federal authorities in Moscow.

Speaking at an Investigative Committee board meeting in St. Petersburg, chief Alexander Bastrykin said the case, in which Navalny was suspected of using illegal “corporate raiding” tactics to pressure a state company in the Kirov region into a disadvantageous contract, had been closed without justification.

Local investigators opened the case, which alleged that Navalny caused the KirovLes timber firm to incur financial losses, in August 2009. At the time, Navalny was serving as an adviser to the region’s governor, Nikita Belykh.

That case was closed in January 2011, with no charges filed. In May 2011, the Investigative Committee ordered the case reopened, only to close it once again. Last month, it was reopened again.

“You have a person with the last name Navalny. You had a criminal case against this person, and you closed it on the sly,” Bastrykin said, addressing the Kirov region representative, Interfax reported.

He pressed investigators to tell him whether they had been intimidated into closing the case.

“[If you’re] weak, afraid, being pressured, report it,” Bastrykin said.

Soon afterward, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the case had been transferred to the federal body’s main investigative unit.

Earlier this week, more legal action related to Navalny’s ties with Belykh was threatened by Konstantin Goloskokov leader of the youth group Nashi.

He said Navalny should be prosecuted for allegedly not paying taxes on a 40,000 euro ($50,400) payment from Belykh and conducting a paid “attack” on state oil firm Rosneft. Navalny and Belykh have denied breaking the law.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more