Russia to probe anti-Putin protests funds

Big News Network (IANS)
Monday 18th February, 2013

Russian investigators would probe the source of some $15,000 seized from an opposition activist Ilya Yashin, as part of a criminal case into the alleged funding of the anti-Putin protest movement by a Georgian politician.

“Investigators will seek to determine the source of these funds and their purpose,” said investigative committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin.

The probe was part of a criminal case involving Givi Targamadze, a Georgian politician accused of financing “mass disorder” at a protest rally in Moscow last May, he added.

Some 20 people are currently facing criminal charges over clashes between police and protesters at the demonstration, which came on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin for a third presidential term.

Markin said earlier this month that investigators had “evidence” that Targamadze had also helped finance the protests against Putin’s rule in late 2011 and last year.

The money was seized from Yashin last summer during a series of raids that also saw some $2 million seized from television celebrity-turned-dissident Ksenia Sobchak.

Sobchak’s money was later returned to her.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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