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Aug. 13 2013 - 00:08

Navalny Wants Sobyanin, His Elder Daughter Checked for Corruption

Correction appended

Mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has asked the Investigative Committee to check whether his main rival in the Sept. 8 election, acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, and his elder daughter Anna are involved in corruption, he wrote in his LiveJournal blog Tuesday.

Navalny posted copies of documents showing that Anna Sobyanina owns a high-end apartment with an estimated value of $3.5 million in downtown St. Petersburg and Forus Group, which supplies luxury furniture to government agencies.

The news comes days after City Hall confirmed that Sobyanin's younger daughter, Olga, owns an apartment with an estimated value of $5.3 million in Moscow. Navalny has accused Sobyanin of illegally privatizing the apartment.

Anna Sobyanina's property is located in 14 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa, a walking distance from the historic Dvortsovaya Ploshchad landmark.

She became the owner of the 204.9-square-meter apartment in November 2011, when she was 25 years old, according to the documents posted by Navalny.

A year before, Sobyanina, together with her neighbor Vyacheslav Kalashnikov, founded Forus Group, a company that specializes in construction, luxury furniture production and interior design.

The company's website shows that Forus Group has completed a number of high-profile projects for state agencies, including a government building in Khanty-Mansiisk, a presidential conference hall in St. Petersburg, a Defense Ministry building in Moscow, as well as other government properties in those cities.

Navalny also asked investigators to check whether Sobyanina's firm is linked to the high-profile Rosoboronservis corruption scandal at the Defense Ministry.

"It is an amazing coincidence," Navalny said in his blog. "The talented daughter of government official Sobyanin has skilfully supplied furniture to places where her father Sergei Sobyanin held official positions."

Sobyanin was the mayor of Moscow from 2010 to 2013 and has been acting mayor since an early election was announced in June. He was the speaker of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District's legislature from 1994 to 2000, the president's chief of staff from 2005 to 2008 and a deputy prime minister and the Cabinet's chief of staff from 2008 to 2010. 

Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Olga Sobyanina, a daughter of acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, became the owner of the apartment on 14 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa in November 2011. In fact, it was Sobyanin's other daughter, Anna.
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