Jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza faces a second criminal case, Novaya Gazeta Europe reported Wednesday.
Kara-Murza, 40, has been in pre-trial detention since his April 12 return to Russia on charges of spreading “false” information about the Russian military and faces 10 years in prison.
Authorities now accuse him of cooperating with an “undesirable” foreign non-governmental organization.
Organizations deemed “undesirable” by the government are banned from operating within Russia and even citing their work in a publication can result in criminal charges for Russians.
If charged and found guilty, Kara-Murza could face an additional six years in prison.
Kara-Murza’s attorneys Mikhail Prokhorov and Olga Mikhailova told Novaya Gazeta Europe that they do not yet have details on the case other than that it was opened on July 13.
According to the defense, Kara-Murza has not yet been formally charged, and neither he nor his lawyers have received notice that criminal proceedings have been initiated.
Kara-Murza claims he was poisoned in Moscow in 2015 and 2017 in retaliation for his efforts to lobby the West for sanctions against Russian officials accused of rights abuses. According to Russian doctors, the poisonings were caused by "unidentified substances" and Russian authorities denied the poisonings.
The investigative outlet Bellingcat reported in 2021 that Kara-Murza was likely followed by the same Federal Security Service (FSB) chemical weapons squad that allegedly poisoned jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.