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    Kremlin Denies Receiving Navalny’s Letter about Bastrykin

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    The Kremlin said on Saturday it has not yet received a letter from opposition blogger Alexei Navalny in which he accuses Russia’s chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin of fraud and being a “foreign agent.”

    The Kremlin said on Saturday it has not yet received a letter from opposition blogger Alexei Navalny in which he accuses Russia’s chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin of fraud and being a “foreign agent.”

    “The letter concerning Bastrykin has not yet been received by the presidential administration. I’ve just checked it on my own,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    He said the presidential administration would forward the letter to the Prosecutor General’s office once they get it.

    Navalny alleged that Bastrykin had concealed real estate and business interests in the Czech Republic and held EU residency while enjoying access to state secrets. Bastrykin denied the allegations and said he would resign if "even one euro" in profits was discovered.

    He also denied he has a Czech residence permit, saying he only had a multiple visa. However, Czech consul to Russia David Novy confirmed to the Vedomosti business daily that Bastrykin holds a temporary residence permit, granted in 2007-2009 to manage Law Bohemia, the company he had established and registered in his own name.

    Under Russian law, state and government officials may not engage in any commercial activity.

    Peskov said that the administration received another letter from Navalny two weeks ago, in which he accuses Bastrykin of intimidating a Novaya Gazeta reporter. The paper’s editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov said in an open letter in July that Alexander Bastrykin’s bodyguards forced journalist Sergei Sokolov in June to go with them to a forest outside Moscow where Bastrykin threatened the journalist.

    “This request has been received and in accordance with the law it would be forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s office for a probe,” he said.

    Bastrykin has said the campaign against him was due to high-profile investigations, including into the May 6 unrest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad.

     

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