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Corruption Scandal Won't Damage Russia's Prosecutor General - RBC

Chief Prosecutor Yury Chaika

Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) investigation, which alleges extensive corruption and criminal activities carried out by Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika's family members, will not affect his reassignment in 2016, the RBC news website reported Wednesday.

Chaika is going to be reassigned as Prosecutor General in 2016 and Navalny's accusations will not damage his career, RBC sources at the prosecutor's office and the upper house of the parliament, said.

The Prosecutor General was granted full immunity from any accusations, and a source in business circles told RBC that the Kremlin will try to protect him by any means, and would not abandon him after the FBK investigation aired.

Instead, the policy of Russian authorities is to launch a public defamation and legal pursuit campaign against Navalny and his fund, a source close to the Kremlin told RBC.

President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the claims by RBC later on Wednesday by saying that there's no “immunity plan” for Chaika, the state news agency TASS reported. Nevertheless, the Kremlin’s response to Navalny's investigation seems to fall in line with what RBC sources say.

Several days after the FBK investigation was published, Peskov said it did not reveal any information the Kremlin had not been familiar with. He stressed that the investigation was focused on Chaika's two “grown-up” sons' business activities and had nothing to do with the Prosecutor General himself.

Chaika, in response to Navalny's claims, accused British-American investor William Browder and the U.S. secret services of being behind the investigation. Navalny himself did not play a large part in the film production, and the creators of the film were only generously paid performers, Chaika said.

Earlier this month, the pro-government United Russia political party proposed a bill which forbids parties to sent representatives instead of official candidates to electoral debates. This law had been designed to keep Navalny away from the debates, as he is not eligible for any political nominations because of previous convictions, RBC reported at the time.

On Dec. 1, FBK published an investigation incriminating Yury Chaika and his sons in a range of shady business deals, the illegal seizure of a state-owned enterprise and murder, along with ownership of numerous foreign assets ownership.

The investigative film also links Chaika's deputy Gennady Lopatin to the Tsapok gang, responsible for a series of murders in the southern Russian town of Kushchevskaya.

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