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Russia Investigates Opposition Leader


Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media at the headquarters of the Russian Investigation committee in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2012.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media at the headquarters of the Russian Investigation committee in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2012.

Russian authorities have launched a criminal investigation against prominent opposition activist Alexei Navalny over suspected fraud and money laundering.

Officials say Navalny is being investigated over the alleged theft of $1.8 million from one of his companies.

Russian authorities already have another financial case open against Navalny. Investigators said earlier this year they suspect Navalny played a part in a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company -- totaling about $500,000 -- while he was advising a local governor in 2009.

Navalny has rejected the charges which carry a 10-year prison sentence.

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