Russian Opposition leaders, ordered to pay $1.4 mln to "Putin's Chef"

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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A Moscow court has ordered two prominent opposition leaders and their foundation to pay 88 million rubles ($1.4 million) in compensation to a company associated with President Vladimir Putin’s personal chef.

The court ruled on October 28 that Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation financially damaged the business interests of Moscow Pupil, a food supplier to schools in the nation’s capital, the opposition leader said on his Instagram page.

Lyubov Sobol, a member of the Anti-Corruption Foundation who helped lead protests in Moscow this summer, is among the defendents named in the lawsuit. Moscow Pupil is connected to Yeveny Prigozhin, who is considered a close associate of Putin.

The Anti-Corruption Foundation published a video blaming Prigozhin’s company for a breakout of food poisoning in Moscow schools and kindergardens in December. Russia’s Investigative Committee pointed the finger at another supplier named VITO-1, Russian daily Kommersant reported.

Moscow Pupil said it lost a major supply contract because of Navalny’s video. As part of its ruling in favor of Moscow Pupil, the court also demanded the Anti-Corruption Foundation delete the video.

“So, they poisoned children in schools and kindergardents. Cases of dysentery have been documented. However, we should pay,” Navalny said in a statement on his Instagram page.

Prigozhin owns Russia's biggest catering business, and, yes, serves food at the Kremlin, among other places; and has lots of other commercial interests, see more about him here: Russian mercenaries and influence in Africa
 
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