Russian police raided the Moscow offices of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation on Thursday and state bailiffs said a criminal investigation had been opened against the group’s director, Reuters reported.
Navalny, who is convalescing in Germany after his alleged poisoning with a novichok nerve agent in Russia, posted images on social media of law enforcement officers at his group’s offices in a business center in Moscow.
The RIA news agency cited bailiffs as saying the raid was linked to a criminal case against Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s group, for failing to implement a court order, an apparent reference to a lawsuit payout.
A court in Moscow ordered Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and Navalny supporter Lyubov Sobol last month each to pay 29 million roubles ($374,483) for libelling the Moscow Schoolchild catering company.
The Kremlin’s critics have cast those lawsuits, as well as a series of mass police raids, as part of a coordinated campaign aimed at crippling their activities. Russian authorities deny that.