Europe

Kremlin critic Navalnys apartment seized while he was in coma, aide says

Issued on: 24/09/2020 – 21:55

Russian authorities seized Alexei Navalnys Moscow apartment while the opposition leader was still in a coma, Navalnys spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said Thursday and linked the move to a tycoon with ties to the Kremlin.

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Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was discharged this week from a Berlin hospital where he was treated for what German authorities determined was nerve agent poisoning.

The 44-year-old collapsed on a domestic flight in Russia on Aug. 20 and spent nearly three weeks in a coma. Russian bailiffs announced seizing his share in a Moscow apartment a week after he fell ill on Aug. 27, Yarmysh said in a video statement released Thursday. “It means the apartment cant be sold, gifted, or mortgaged. Thats when Alexeis bank accounts were frozen, too,” Navalnys spokeswoman said.

According to Yarmysh, the seizure was connected to a court ruling in favor of a school catering company reportedly linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a tycoon with ties to Russias president that earned him the nickname “Putins chef.”

Prigozhin was among a dozen Russians indicted in 2018 by a U.S. grand jury in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, alleging he funded internet trolls involved in interfering with the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

Last year, a Moscow court ordered Navalny and his associates to pay 88 million rubles ($1.1 million) in damages to a company reportedly linked to Prigozhin after they accused the company — and him — of allegedly supplying contaminated food to Moscow kindergartens and sparking an outbreak of dysentery among dozens of children.

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