Anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexey Navalny might face defamation charges in Kemerovo, where the district attorney’s office found that former Governor Aman Tuleyevdoesn’t own the lavish real estate Navalny attributed to him in an investigative report published on April 10. Prosecutors have forwarded their report to local investigators, who will determine if a defamation case is in order. Tuleyev himself asked the authorities to audit his assets to disprove Navalny’s claims.
After serving as Kemerovo’s governor for more than two decades, Tuleyev resigned from office shortly after a deadly fire destroyed a shopping center in March. Less than two weeks after he stepped down, he was elected to serve as chairman of the regional parliament.
On May 15, Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court sentenced Navalny to 30 days behind bars for repeated violations of Russia’s laws on public assemblies, and then an additional 15 days for disobeying police orders during his arrest on May 5.
Navalny was detained in Moscow at Pushkin Square, where he organized an non-permitted demonstration against Vladimir Putin’s fourth presidential term. Police detained about 700 protesters in Moscow on May 5 and more than 1,600 across the country.
Navalny maintains that his constitutional right to the freedom of assembly obviates the need for a permit when protesting peacefully. He and several witnesses also deny that he resisted arrest when police officers detained him on May 5. Speaking to the judge on Tuesday, Navalny accused him of taking orders from the state authorities. “You’re not a judge — you’re just the other end of a phone call,” he said in court.