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World11 minutes ago (Sep 28, 2021 08:16AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a new criminal case against jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his allies, the committee said in a statement on Tuesday.

The committee said it was investigating Navalny on suspicion of setting up an “extremist group” together with his associates. A Russian court has already outlawed Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation as extremist and he himself is in prison for parole violations.

Navalny, 45, is widely regarded as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most popular opponent in Russia.

Navalny was flown to Germany for medical treatment after being poisoned in Siberia in August 2020 with what Western experts concluded was the military nerve agent Novichok.

Moscow has rejected their findings – which prompted a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia – and accused the West of a smear campaign against it.

Russia launches new case against jailed Kremlin critic Navalny

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Russia launches new case against jailed Kremlin critic Navalny