February 12, 2016 / 3:47 PM / 2 years ago

Moscow court rejects lawsuit against Putin from Kremlin critic Navalny: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Moscow court has rejected a lawsuit filed against Russian President Vladimir Putin by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the RIA news agency quoted a spokeswoman for the court as saying on Friday.

Russian anti-corruption campaigner and opposition figure Alexei Navalny (R) attends a hearing at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner, said on Thursday he had filed the suit. He accused Putin of violating corruption laws after a company in which the Russian leader’s son-in-law is a shareholder received $1.75 billion in state support.

The suit cited a Reuters investigation which reported that Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law, is a major shareholder in petrochemicals producer Sibur, which received the funding from Russia’s National Wealth Fund at an unusually low interest rate last year.

When asked about Navalny’s legal action, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday the Russian leader was unaware of the suit. Peskov did not reply to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday.

RIA quoted a spokeswoman for Moscow’s Tverskoi court, Anastasia Dzyurko, as saying it had rejected Navalny’s suit on technical grounds. The court could not immediately be reached for comment.

Navalny sarcastically said on his official Twitter account that he was “shocked” by the decision. He said he thought it was interesting that the court’s decision to reject his suit had nothing to do with its substance but was due “apparently” to a technicality.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn/Tatiana Ustinova; Editing by Alexander Winning

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