Russia opens new case against Navalny

Russian prosecutors have opened a new criminal case against President Putin's fiercest critic - Alexey Navalny.

The opposition activist has been accused of creating and leading an extremist group.

If found guilty, he faces another decade in prison.

Navalny is already serving a two and a half year sentence for violating parole in a case widely seen as politically motivated.

Details of the new charges against him were published on the website of Russia's Investigative Committee on Tuesday.

The statement said:

"The illegal activities of the extremist group were aimed at discrediting state authorities and their policies, destabilizing the situation in the regions, creating a protest mood among the population and trying to form an opinion among the public about the need for a violent change of power..."

In June, a court ruled that Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation was an extremist group and outlawed it.

Tuesday's statement accused Navalny's allies of carrying on with their alleged illegal activities after their group was banned.

One of those named in the statement was Lyubov Sobol.

She said the new case showed how much Putin feared Navalny, an allegation the Kremlin has previously dismissed.

Navalny accused Putin of ordering an attack on him last year after he was poisoned in Siberia with a nerve agent.

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