Lyubov Sobol: Russian police investigate Navalny ally ‘who visited spy accused of poisoning’

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says police raided his ally’s apartment after she allegedly visited the home of a spy accused of poisoning him.

Lyubov Sobol, 33, live streamed footage of men knocking at the door of her Moscow home early on Christmas Day.

CCTV thought to be from the hallway outside her flat also shows men covering up the camera with tape.

Mr Nalvany, one of Vladimir Putin‘s most outspoken critics, says she was detained after visiting a man he claims poisoned him earlier this year.

This week Ms Sobol is said to have visited the Moscow flat where Konstantin Kudryavtsev lives to try to speak to him.

Ms Sobol allegedly went there after claims by Mr Navalny that he got the FSB agent to admit he poisoned him with novichok by posing as a security official over the phone.

He says that during the 45-minute call, Mr Kudryavtsev revealed he was instructed to apply the nerve agent to his underwear.

Mr Navalny’s anti-corruption fund said on Twitter on Friday: “Today, police came to Lyubov Sobol’s apartment at 7am.”

Her phone and computers were confiscated, they said.

Mr Navalny claims her phone was immediately switched off and his team were unable to contact her.

Ms Sobol’s husband and daughter were allowed to leave the flat after it was raided, they added.

A lawyer for the anti-corruption fund said police had detained her on suspicion of “violating the sanctity of someone’s home with the use or threat of violence”, which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Russia’s investigative committee, which handles serious crime probes, confirmed on its website that it was launching a criminal case.

It claimed Ms Sobol and others had tricked a courier to get into a block of flats, before trying to gain entry to a woman’s apartment by wearing uniforms used by the state health watchdog.

The investigators said she barged into the flat when the elderly woman opened the door.

Mr Navalny fell ill on a flight to Moscow in August, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

He was transferred to a hospital in Germany where doctors said he had been poisoned with the same Cold War nerve agent used on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement.

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