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Moscow Court Orders Navalny to Remove Usmanov Bribery Allegations

Alexei Navalny Screenshot Alexei Navalny Youtube Channel

A Moscow court on Friday ruled against opposition leader Alexei Navalny ordering the opposition leader to remove excerpts of a video from YouTube that accuse Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov of bribery, the state-run Interfax news agency reported.

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) accused Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in early March of channeling bribes through non-profit organizations linked to close friends, including Usmanov.

In a video uploaded to YouTube that has been watched more than 24 million times, Navalny’s FBK accuses Usmanov, who is reportedly worth $15 billion, of bribing Medvedev with a mansion valued at $83 million.

In April, Usmanov said Navalny had “crossed a red line,” by alleging the telecoms kingpin made a multi-million-dollar bribe to Medvedev and vowed to sue the opposition leader.

"Navalny misleads people. His statements are slander,” Usmanov told the state-run TASS news agency. “He really has crossed a red line in accusing me of committing a crime.”

In May, Usmanov released a 12-minute video addressed to Navalny denying the claims.

FBK lawyer Ivan Zhdanov said in response to Friday’s ruling that the organization planned to appeal the decision. “Alexei Navalny is not going to remove anything [from the internet]. The Anti-Corruption Fund will not remove anything either," he added.

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