The Russian Investigations Committee has launched a pre-investigation probe into the disclosure by Novaya Gazeta journalist Irek Murtazin of information relating to the investigation into the criminal case against brothers Oleg and Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Markin from the Investigations Committee told Interfax.

"The probe is conducted into the article 'Yves Rocher to Plant Three Million Trees and Get Two Navalny Brothers Imprisoned in Russia,' which was published in the February 8, 2012 edition of Novaya Gazeta," Markin said.

The article "describes the details of opening the criminal case against the Navalny brothers on the basis of fraud against a foreign company and money laundering," he said.

"The article contains procedural documents, which constitute secrets of an investigation," Markin said.

The probe is conducted under Russian Criminal Code Article 310, which deals with "disclosure of information relating to a preliminary investigation," Markin said.

"Obviously, those that harassed the foreign company in the media and on the Internet are trying to cause the businessmen to withdraw their claim, but supporters of Mr. Navalny, who are trying to discredit and thus put pressure on the victims on the criminal case, probably don't know Russian laws very well," Markin said.

"As to the Investigations Committee, its task is to protect the rights of all participants in these criminal proceedings, especially the rights of the victims, at the stage of preliminary investigation, which will lead to a procedural decision," Markin said.

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