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Alexei Navalny, Russian activist, faces another fraud charge

Russian authorities accuse opposition activist Alexei Navalny, brother Oleg of stealing $1.8 million.

Alexei navalny russia protest oct 2012Enlarge
Russian opposition activist and blogger Alexei Navalny holds a poster reading "I'm against repression and torture" in Moscow on October 27, 2012. About 200 people gathered near the headquarters of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) to protest at the latest wave of arrests and allegations that one opposition leader was tortured into making a confession. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian activist Alexei Navalny is under investigation for fraud and money laundering, a second such case brought against the outspoken opposition leader this year.

Authorities accused Navalny of stealing $1.8 million from one of his companies, Voice of America said.

Earlier this year, prosecutors said Navalny schemed to steal $500,000 from a state timber company in 2009.

He denies all claims. Navalny faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

Russia’s Investigative Committee made the announcement on its website, UPI reported.

It also accused Navalny’s brother, Oleg, of helping him create a shipping company and billing for $1.8 million but only delivering $1 million worth of goods.

“I see that I alone am not enough, so they’re cracking down on my family?” he wrote on Twitter, UPI reported.

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Navalny, 36, is responsible for launching protests against President Vladimir Putin last year, The Telegraph said.

He’s the most public figure – perhaps outside Pussy Riot – to stand against Putin’s strict regime.

Critics say the trumped-up charges are designed to intimidate Navalny before a planned anti-Putin protest on Saturday.

Navalny went on to say through Twitter that his brother is doing a great job hiding the spoils.

“Dropped in on my brother to see how things were and to see if he’s hiding 55 million in his five-square-meter (15-foot) kitchen,” Navalny tweeted along with a picture of Oleg holding an infant, The Telegraph said.

More from GlobalPost: Top Russian activists arrested at Moscow protests

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/121214/alexei-navalny-russian-activist-faces-another-fraud-charg