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Police Surprise Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny With Nighttime Raid

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny poses as investigators raid his apartment in the early hours of Friday morning.

Investigators raided the apartment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the early hours of Friday morning in connection with an eight-year-old embezzlement investigation, his lawyer said.

"An SK [Investigative Committee] investigative group arrived at @navalny apartment at 4:00 in the morning (or night)," lawyer Vadim Kobzev said in a Twitter message.

In a separate Twitter post, Kobzev said the search was connected to an investigation into alleged embezzlement from the now-extinct opposition Union of Right Forces, or SPS, party.

Navalny, who has been under house arrest since February in connection with a separate fraud investigation against him, appears as a witness in the SPS case.

Investigators accuse Navalny's Allekt advertising company of charging the political movement 100 million rubles ($2.9 million) for services during a 2007 election campaign, but failing to deliver on the work, Lenta.ru reported Friday. Navalny said his firm had adhered to its side of the contract and that SPS never complained about his work, the report said.

"Today's search at Alexei Navalny's apartment is yet another attempt to put pressure on him," Kobzev told Interfax. "It is absolutely obvious that there is no need to conduct a search at 4 a.m. in connection with a case that supposedly took place eight years ago."

See also:

Police Raid Navalny Supporter's Apartment, Saw Off His Door

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