Russian opposition leader served with criminal charge

Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media after arriving at the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky

MOSCOW: Russian authorities charged opposition blogger and protest leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday with a financial crime punishable by prison, increasing pressure on one of President Vladimir Putin's leading foes.

The federal Investigative Committee said in a statement Navalny had been charged with organising large-scale theft following losses suffered by a state forestry firm while he was advising a regional governor, and ordered him to stay in Russia.

It was not immediately clear how long a sentence he could face if convicted.





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