The father of Ivan Zhdanov, a close associate of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been placed in a detention center for allegedly violating restrictions imposed on him after he was handed a suspended prison sentence last month in a corruption case that critics say is politically motivated.
A court in the Arctic city of Naryan-Mar on January 11 ruled that Yury Zhdanov should be arrested for illegally leaving the city for the Nizhny Novgorod region in December without court permission.
Zhdanov’s lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, wrote on Instagram on January 12 that his client was currently in a detention center in the Nizhny Novgorod region, adding that the 67-year-old Zhdanov was not aware he was barred from leaving Naryan-Mar, as prosecutor’s have appealed his sentence and the court is still considering the motion.
A court in Naryan-Mar handed Zhdanov a three-year suspended prison term on December 19 on charges of fraud and forgery over an alleged recommendation he made to the town’s administration to provide a local woman with a subsidized apartment, though it later turned out that the woman’s family had previously received housing allocations.
Zhdanov has rejected the charges.
The apartment was later returned to municipal ownership in accordance with a court decision and no one among those who made the decision was held responsible.
Prosecutors appealed the sentence, calling it “mild,” and demanding Zhdanov be sentenced to three years in prison.
Ivan Zhdanov, the former chief of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has accused the presidential administration of trying to pressure him by arresting his father.
The FBK was known for publishing investigative reports on corruption among top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin.
Last year, FBK and other groups associated with Navalny were labeled as extremist and banned in Russia.