Rights lawyer who fled Russia says he is wanted by authorities

October 28, 2021 1:35 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer who defended jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny's team, poses for a picture during an interview in Tbilisi, Georgia September 9, 2021. REUTERS/David Chkhikvishvili/File Photo

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A top human rights lawyer who fled Russia last month after defending jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's team said on Thursday he had been added to a wanted list by the authorities.

Defence lawyer Ivan Pavlov is known in Russia for taking on politically sensitive cases, including defending people charged with treason or espionage by the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the Soviet KGB.

Pavlov fled to the South Caucasus country of Georgia last month, saying it was impossible to work in Russia because of the restrictions imposed as part of a criminal investigation against him.

"On September 20, the investigator in my criminal case issued a resolution to add me on a wanted list," Pavlov wrote on his Telegram account.

The FSB, the interior ministry and the Investigative Committee, the body that probes major crimes, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pavlov came under criminal investigation in April after he was accused of disclosing classified information in his defence of former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is being held on treason charges that he denies.

Earlier this year Pavlov led the defence of Navalny's political network at a series of hearings that were closed to the public, which resulted in the groups being banned as "extremist".

Pavlov told Reuters last month that he did not think he had been targeted in a criminal case because of his work for Navalny, but for his years of dealing with cases involving the FSB.

(Reporting by Gabrielle T├ętrault-Farber; Editing by David Gregorio)

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