Russian bailiffs raided the offices of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s organisation while the politician is still recovering in Germany from a nearly fatal poisoning.
Mr Navalny’s associates linked the move in Moscow to a court ruling that obliged his Anti-Corruption Foundation to pay damages to a school catering company reportedly linked to a tycoon with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Mr Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator and Mr Putin’s most visible and determined opponent, fell ill on August 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown to Germany two days later.
He is still recovering there.
Tests conducted at labs designated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that the poison used on Mr Navalny was a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.
Mr Navalny asserted that his poisoning only could have been ordered by spymasters who would not have made such decisions without Mr Putin’s personal involvement – claims the Kremlin has vehemently rejected.
The Russian hospital that first treated Mr Navalny said it found no evidence he was poisoned.
Russian authorities have said they conducted a preliminary investigation but argued that they needed proof of poisoning to launch a full-fledged criminal inquiry and lamented Germany’s refusal to share the materials.