Moscow: A Moscow court is hearing a civil defamation suit against Vladimir Putin after the Russian Prime Minister used a TV call-in show to accuse his political enemies of stealing from the state.
Putin claimed in December that a group of opponents once in the government or Parliament took billions from state coffers in the 1990s.
He said former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, once-deputy energy minister Vladimir Milov and ex-independent lawmaker Vladimir Ryzhkov had gone broke and were now seeking power again to fill their pockets.
Before Monday`s court hearing, Nemtsov said he doesn`t expect to win but said the fact the suit was admitted is a victory. Russia`s courts are notoriously loyal to the state and often used to bury Kremlin opponents.