Lawyer defending Kremlin critic Navalny's group detained, says colleague

Alexei Navalny, who is accused of slandering a Russian World War Two veteran, stands inside a defendant dock before a court hearing in Moscow February 5, 2021. — Picture by Press Service of Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow via Reuters
Alexei Navalny, who is accused of slandering a Russian World War Two veteran, stands inside a defendant dock before a court hearing in Moscow February 5, 2021. — Picture by Press Service of Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow via Reuters

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MOSCOW, April 30 ― Russian security forces detained Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer who is defending Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in an extremism case, one of his colleagues said today.

“Ivan Pavlov has been detained, searches are under way. The FSB (Federal Security Service) is working,” Evgeny Smirnov, a lawyer from Pavlov's team, said on Facebook.

Pavlov, who as a lawyer specialises in treason, espionage and other sensitive cases, is accused of disclosing classified information relating to an ongoing investigation, he added.

That offence is punishable by up to three months in jail, Pavlov's legal team said.

Pavlov, who is based in St. Petersburg, was detained in a Moscow hotel, the TASS news agency said citing an unnamed source.

Yesterday, Pavlov represented Navalny's FBK in a Moscow court hearing convened to consider a request from the Moscow prosecutor to declare the group an extremist organisation.

The hearing was held behind closed doors as authorities say the case contains classified information. Pavlov spoke to reporters outside the court building. ― Reuters

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