Criminal case opened against Russian opposition leader

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny who has recently spent 50 days in custody is facing an unpleasant surprise: a criminal case has reportedly been launched against him.

“This morning, an investigator has contacted my defense lawyer and said that I will have to come to him – I will be charged under another criminal case. I am surprised these guys cannot invent something new. But in spite of that, our organization and our offices will continue working in overdrive,” he said.

In late August, Navalny was arrested for 30 days. It was a punitive measure for his contributing to and participating in January’s rally ‘Voters’ Strike’. Apparently, the Russian authorities decided to prevent him from showing up at the protest rallies against the pension reform in early September. They also wanted to silence him for the period of Putin’s voicing the plan of a ‘softer’ version of the reform.

Hardly had he been released from the detention centre on September 24, he was detained again and jailed for another 20 days. The formal reason was an unauthorised rally; an administrative case was opened against him for violation of regulations of holding mass events.