Russian billionaire sues Kremlin critic over corruption report

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Russian billionaire sues Kremlin critic over corruption report

MOSCOW (APP) - Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has launched legal action against opposition leader Alexei Navalny over an accusation of bribery in his report into alleged corruption by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a court said Thursday.

Usmanov has launched action against the Kremlin critic for the "protection of his honour and dignity" at Moscow's Lyublinsky court, the court's press service told TASS state news agency.

Navalny, who has announced he intends to stand for president in 2018, in March released a report claiming Medvedev controls a property empire through shadowy not-for-profit organisations. The video has been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube.

Medvedev has denied the claims, which he described as "malarkey."

Navalny's supporters last month held the largest unauthorised demonstration in Moscow in years, protesting over the accusations against the prime minister, one of President Vladimir Putin's closest associates.

Usmanov was listed as Russia's third richest businessman by Forbes magazine in 2016 with a fortune of $12.5 billion. His interests range from metallurgy to social networking sites Mail.ru and VK and business daily Kommersant.