Millionaire Official Sues Navalny Over Offshore Report
A Moscow City Hall official confronted with allegations of illegal business activity has sued his accuser, whistle-blowing blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
Deputy Mayor Maxim Liksutov, who oversees transportation in Moscow, announced via Facebook on Thursday that he had sued Navalny for an unspecified sum.
Data made publicly available by the Cypriot commerce ministry and published in turn by Navalny in late May indicated Likutsov’s partial ownership as of 2014 of a firm located in the European island country.
Russian officials are prohibited by law from conducting business activity. Income declarations filed by Liksutov in 2013 and 2014 listed no overseas enterprises under his control.
The Estonia-born official, who has made a fortune in the transportation industry, said on his Facebook page that he had stepped down from the company before taking up the state job in 2012.
His continued listing as a shareholder of the company, Intellectico Holdings Ltd., was due to apparent “judicial delays,” Liksutov said June 2.
The deputy mayor, whose worth was evaluated by Forbes Russia at $650 million in 2013, claimed he had documents to prove he was no longer a shareholder. He did not release the documents for public view.
In a blog entry, Navalny dismissed Liksutov’s explanations as lies.
Navalny, 38, rose to political stardom through a string of anti-corruption exposes, including of the state-controlled VTB and Transneft banks.
Navalny himself was then hit with several graft cases that he referred to as retribution for his activism. He is now under house arrest awaiting trial.
Navalny has also lost three slander lawsuits filed against him by individuals targeted in his exposes, including Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov.