15 Feb 2018 12:38

Searches under way as part of probe into creation of criminal community - Party of Nationalists leader

MOSCOW. Feb 15 (Interfax) - Officers of law enforcement agencies are conducting searches at a number of locations linked with the unregistered Party of Nationalists as part of a criminal investigation into the establishment of an extremist community, a party leader, Ivan Beletsky, told Interfax over the phone.

"Searches have been under way in Moscow since 7 a.m. today as part of a criminal case opened on a count of 'the establishment of a criminal community' (Article 282.1 of the Russian Penal Code). The Party of Nationalists figures as a continuation of the activity of the public organization Russkiye, which is banned in Russia," Beletsky said.

Beletsky said he is a suspect in this case and has been charged in absentia, adding that searches have been carried out in three apartments where used to live. Beletsky also said that his relatives are witnesses in this case.

"Also on February 15, searches are being carried out at the apartments of Party of Nationalists members Konstantin Filin and Dmitry Golikov," he said.

Golikov and Filin have already been transported to the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters, where they will be interrogated, Beletsky said.

Beletsky said he is currently staying in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian migration service is considering granting him asylum. Beletsky also said that he is officially under the protection of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.