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Investigators Request House Arrest for Navalny

Investigators have asked Moscow's Basmanny District Court to place opposition leader Alexei Navalny under house arrest.

Investigative Committee said in a statement on Wednesday that Navalny, who is currently being investigated on fraud and money laundering charges, has repeatedly breached travel restrictions that require him to stay in Moscow and that he should now be confined to his house.

Navalny and his brother Oleg are suspected of defrauding the Russian branch of Yves Rocher, a French cosmetics firm, out of 26 million rubles ($720,000) and a cargo delivery firm, Glavnyoe Podpisnoye Agenstvo, out of 4 million rubles.

The Navalny brothers have also been accused of laundering 21 million rubles.

Alexei Navalny has said that his run-ins with the law are politically motivated attempts to stamp out his anti-corruption and anti-Kremlin activities.

In October, he was handed a five-year suspended sentence after a court in the Kirov region convicted him of stealing 16 million rubles from a state-owned timber company.

At present, he is serving out a seven-day jail sentence for disobeying police orders at an unauthorized rally in central Moscow in support of the defendants in the so-called Bolotnaya case earlier this week.

Investigators said last month that Navalny had flouted travel restrictions by traveling out of Moscow's administrative borders and into the surrounding Moscow region and that they would seek tighter constraints if he infringed again.

Navalny denied the allegations and said that his bail conditions had been amended to allow him to travel to his home in the Moscow region.

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