Russian opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny has said he will take Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to court for slander and to defend allegations he made earlier this week incriminating Chaika and his inner circle in a shady business scheme.
“We will invite him and ask him to point to the part of the investigation, that was 'commissioned,' 'deliberately deceitful.' [Ask him to] explain, who paid 'big money.' And, of course, it will be the perfect opportunity for Chaika to 'reveal who is behind it,'” Navalny wrote Thursday on his blog.
Chaika on Thursday for the first time commented on the investigation published Tuesday by Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). A 40-minute film on the conclusions of the investigation which was uploaded to YouTube had gathered more than 1.4 million views by Thursday.
The report incriminated the prosecutor general and his relatives, including his sons, Artyom and Igor Chaika, in a range of dirty business dealings with links to organized crime.
In his comments, Chaika accused Navalny of being a puppet figure.
“It is clear that this is a commissioned [investigation,] clearly not paid for by those who carried it out. [It's] big money!” Chaika told Interfax news agency on Thursday. “The statements are deliberately deceitful and are completely unsubstantiated.”
Chaika added he knew who was behind the allegations. “I think, in the near future I will reveal who [is behind it],” he was cited as saying.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin had not had time to review the allegations made by Navalny's foundation, adding they had been too buy preparing Putin's state of the nation address on Thursday.