Russian anti-corruption campaigner has Twitter account hacked
ALEXEI Navalny, the Russian anti-corruption campaigner and opposition leader, has accused state officials of enabling his popular Twitter account to be taken over by a foul-mouthed hacker.
Mr Navalny's microblog was seized early on Tuesday and began spewing obscene messages to more than 250,000 followers.
It comes a fortnight after computers belonging to the activist were seized during a series of raids on opposition figures carried out by Russia's Investigative Committee.
"My email has been hacked and, through it, my Twitter account," Mr Navalny, 35, wrote on his Live Journal blog. "Obviously, using the computers/iPads that were impounded during the search. That's our Investigative Committee for you."
He added in a later post: "I don't have the slightest doubt that the hacking of my email and Twitter was carried out using the equipment impounded during the search."
The Investigative Committee responded to the charge saying it "did not correspond to reality". It claimed Mr Navalny's comments were an attempt to discredit its investigation into violence at an opposition march on May 6 when demonstrators clashed with police.
Investigators searched the home of Mr Navalny, the television star Kseniya Sobchak and several other opposition figures on June 11 in connection with that probe. Photographs of Miss Sobchak's confiscated possessions appeared on a tabloid website linked to the security services shortly afterwards.
The raids were widely seen as a scare tactic to discourage the people involved from taking part in a new street demonstration in Moscow the next day.
Shortly after his comments about the Twitter hacking on Tuesday, Mr Navalny was called in for questioning about alleged use of extremist language during opposition protests in December.
The activist has promised to keep up his anti-corruption campaigning despite the legal onslaught. On Monday, he was elected to the board of state-controlled Aeroflot after being proposed by minority shareholder Alexander Lebedev, who owns the Independent and the Evening Standard.
Mr Navalny said he would attempt to improve corporate governance at the flagship airline