Ex-Russian presidential candidate faces 15 years in extortion case – TASS — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Ksenia Sobchak, a former Russian presidential candidate, opposition figure and journalist, faces 15 years in an extortion case, the TASS news agency reported on Wednesday. Sobchak’s home near Moscow was raided as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, sources tell RT.

Sobchak reportedly fled the country the day before, heading to Lithuania via Belarus, according to law enforcement officials, who said they had received an arrest order.

The news comes the day after the police arrested the commercial director of « Ostorozhno Media » (Attention to the media) of Sobchak, who is detaining Kirill Sukhanov. The arrest was reportedly linked to an extortion investigation.

On Wednesday, authorities also arrested former Tatler Russia magazine editor Arian Romanovsky, who was charged with large-scale extortion, which carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years. The journalist denied the accusation, according to his lawyer.

Law enforcement officials noted that Wednesday’s search of Sobchak’s villa outside Moscow was also part of this investigation, and that she is one of the suspects in the criminal case and has also been charged with large-scale extortion.

Sobchak herself has yet to confirm or deny fleeing Russia, although she has previously confirmed Sukhanov’s arrest and claimed it was part of a pressure campaign against Russian journalists.

According to sources quoted by RIA News, the investigation is part of a crackdown by the Russian Interior Ministry against the owners and administrators of Telegram channels who allegedly published false information about men of business and senior officials and demanded money to suppress this information. posts.

Ksenia Sobchak is the daughter of the late mayor of Saint Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak, considered the political mentor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The journalist and former reality TV host became one of Russia’s most prominent liberal opposition figures and ran against Putin for president in 2018, winning 1.7% of the vote.

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