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Navalny and Brother's Assets Seized

After an afternoon of conflicting statements, the latest report says opposition leader Alexei Navalny's assets have been confiscated. Alexei Yushenkov

A Basmanny District Court spokesman said Tuesday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny's assets were to be seized in connection to the theft and money laundering case against him.

The court made the same announcement earlier in the day only to contradict the statement shortly after with the news that it was the activist's brother, Oleg Navalny, whose assets were taken. According to the latest statement, both Navalny brothers' assets are now frozen, RIA Novosti reported.

"What assets they froze I don't know — they didn't invite me to the court where this issue is being decided," Navalny wrote on his LiveJournal blog, adding that a list of his assets published during his campaign for Moscow mayor in September is freely available.

As for Oleg Navalny, the court announced Tuesday that 50,000 rubles ($1,500) discovered during an earlier search had been seized and his bank accounts and share in a woven furniture company had been frozen.

The press service for the Federal Service of Court Bailiffs told Interfax that the organization had not yet received decisions from the court about the brothers' assets.

Oleg and Alexei Navalny were indicted in October for defrauding two companies, including French cosmetics firm Yves Rocher, out of a total of 30 million rubles and laundering more than 21 million rubles with a company to ship goods from Yaroslavl to Moscow.

Alexei Navalny has said that the allegations are politically motivated, writing in a blog post after the charges were announced: "In some sense this is good news: we are doing everything right and they are afraid."

In October the Moscow City Court turned down the brothers' request to have the case dismissed.

Navalny was convicted in July for organizing the theft of 16 million rubles from a timber firm in the Kirov region, for which he is now serving a five-year suspended sentence.

Material from Reuters is included in this report.

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