Lawyer defending Navalny’s anti-corruption group detained

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Russian security forces detained Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer who is defending Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in an extremism case, one of his colleagues said on Friday.

“Ivan Pavlov has been detained, searches are under way. The FSB (Federal Security Service) is working,” Evgeny Smirnov, a lawyer from Pavlov’s team, said on Facebook.

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Pavlov, who as a lawyer specializes in treason, espionage and other sensitive cases, is accused of disclosing classified information relating to an ongoing investigation, he added.

That offence is punishable by up to three months in jail, Pavlov’s legal team said.

Pavlov, who is based in St. Petersburg, was detained in a Moscow hotel, the TASS news agency said citing an unnamed source.

On Thursday, Pavlov represented Navalny’s FBK in a Moscow court hearing convened to consider a request from the Moscow prosecutor to declare the group an extremist organization.

The hearing was held behind closed doors as authorities say the case contains classified information. Pavlov spoke to reporters outside the court building.

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