Moscow: Prominent Russian human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov who defended jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s foundation has left Russia for good. Ivan Pavlov said that he left his homeland as the government has launched a criminal inquiry against him. Pavlov, who has worked on many high-profile cases said Tuesday that he had no other option, but to leave Russia.
Pavlov is well known inside Russia for taking on politically sensitive cases. He has defended people accused of everything from treason to espionage.
The Russia government opened a criminal case against Pavlov in April. It accused him of disclosing classified information relating to an ongoing treason investigation against former journalist Ivan Safronov, one of his clients.
“The restrictions imposed on me in connection with the criminal case have gradually made my work impossible,” Pavlov wrote on Telegram messenger. “The restrictions didn’t touch upon one thing: my ability to leave the country. This was a sign pointing to the exit,” he added.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, the body that probes major crimes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pavlov said he had been barred him from using the internet and communicating with clients and colleagues in Russia. He informed that he was now based in Georgia in the South Caucasus.
“I’ll have to start many things from scratch, but it won’t be the first time,” Pavlov stated. “I plan to continue the work that caused me to be forced to leave my country,” he asserted.