Police Search Navalny’s Kirov Headquarters

May 9, 2013
Alexei Navalny

Police conducted a search in Kirov at the support headquarters for blogger Alexey Navalny. The inspection began Wednesday evening, after a complaint was received at the police precinct that extremist leaflets were being printed at the office.

“The search began at 10:10 pm and ended at 4:45 am. This is the longest broadcast in my career,” one of the activists, Roman Pereverzev, reported on Twitter. According to Pereverzev, police confiscated various materials from the opposition members, including leaflets with slogans in support of Alexey Navalny. “All of the violations were recorded in a police report. What was missed was written in separately,” he added.

Navalny wrote that he didn’t understand why the materials had to be confiscated at night.

The police came to search Navalny’s Kirov office on the evening of 8 May. “On 8 May at about 9:00pm, on telephone line 2 at the Russian Interior Ministry duty office for the city of Kirov, a report was received from “Citizen I” that in the city of Kirov, in the building where Navalny’s support office is located, leaflets were being produced with an extremist content,” reported the Russian Interior Ministry for the Kirov region. “In order to check the report, with the consent of the prosecutor’s office, an investigative operations group from the Russian Interior Ministry for the city of Kirov was sent to the designated address. At the present time, an inspection of the location of the incident is being conducted. The confiscated printed matter will be sent for investigation regarding extremist materials,” police reported.

How Alexey Navalny was removed from the elections

The Ministry of Justice suspended the registration of seven parties, including the Popular Alliance, created by supporters of opposition member Alexey Navalny and employees of his Anti-Corruption Fund. In the opinion of experts, this could be connected to fears by the government that the new parties could successfully compete in regional elections in September. As the Justice Ministry website reports, the registration of the Popular Alliance was suspended because the statutes in its by-laws contravene the Law on Political Parties and “the information contained in the documents presented does not correspond to its demands.” The founding congress of the Popular Alliance took place on 15 December 2012. Alexey Navalny himself did not join the party, explaining that that it did not need “a member of the party who would spend all his time between the Investigative Committee and the Rosneft trial.”

How it was decided to reduce Navalny’s criminal cases

On 6 May, the collegium of the Moscow City Court repealed a decision of the Basmanny District Court, which in January of this year declared lawful the opening of a criminal case by the Investigative Committee against opposition member Alexey Navalny and his brother Oleg on charges of fraud and the legalization of embezzled money. According to the investigation’s account, the Glavnoye Podpisnoye Agentsvo [Main Subscription Agency] LLC, founded by the brothers through the Cyprus firm Alortag Management Ltd., embezzled 55 million rubles from 2008-2011 from Iv Roshe Vostok, with which it had signed a contract to ship goods. The materials of the case were sent for a new review to the court of the first instance. At the Investigative Committee, officials insist that the case against the brothers was well-founded.