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Russia`s chief investigator dismisses fraud charge

Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia`s powerful Investigation Committee, has denied allegations of fraud levelled against him by an opposition leader.



Moscow: Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia`s powerful Investigation Committee, has denied allegations of fraud levelled against him by an opposition leader.

Alexei Navalny accused Bastrykin in a blog post of fraud and being a "foreign agent".

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.

The term "foreign agent" was a reference to a controversial draft law that would force non-governmental organisations that receive money from abroad and are engaged in politics to use the term on all their publications and websites.

Bastrykin said he did have an apartment in Prague but that he bought it a long time ago, before he was a government official.

He also denied he has a Czech residence permit.

"I only have a (multiple) visa. I would like to stress that," he said.

Czech consul to Russia David Novy confirmed to the Vedomosti business daily that Bastrykin holds a temporary residence permit.

The Czech Interior Ministry, on its part, stated that Bastrykin was granted a long-term residence permit in 2007-2009 to manage Law Bohemia, the company he had established and registered in his own name.

In 2007, Bastrykin was appointed head of the Russian Investigative Committee.

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

IANS

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