Russia says it is now investigating jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his allies for allegedly setting up an “extremist group.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee announced the new criminal case against the 45-year-old – who is President Vladimir Putin’s most popular opponent in Russia — on Tuesday.
He is being investigated on suspicion for setting up the extremist group with his allies, the committee said in a statement.
Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation has already been outlawed as extremist group by the Russian government.
Navalny has been imprisoned since February on parole violations for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence in a 2014 embezzlement case, which he has dismissed as politically motivated.
He was arrested after returning to Russia from Germany where he underwent medical treatment for a poisoning that he has blamed on Putin.
Western experts determined Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok – a military nerve agent — in Siberia last year.