MOSCOW, July 1 (RAPSI) - Former mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny will not provide testimony regarding the theft of a painting by Vladimir painter Sergei Sotov that was discovered during the search in the opposition leader’s apartment, attorney Olga Mikhailova told RIA Novosti.

“When he was escorted to the interview, Navalny announced that the case was fabricated and that the “theft” case was being investigated by the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee, which employees report to Alexander Bastrykin, a public official openly criticized by Navalny. He refused to answer any more questions,” Mikhailova said.

Investigators claim that the painting titled “Bad and Good Person” and put on display in central Vladimir was stolen by an unidentified person. The painting belongs to a local artist who sustained significant loss as a result of the theft.

According to the Investigative Committee, the case was opened after the theft was reported by the artist himself.

Alexei Navalny is an opposition politician and public leader and head of the Party of Progress. He ran in the 2013 mayoral elections in Moscow and writes one of the most popular sociopolitical blogs, which was put on the list of prohibited sources after allegedly encouraging people to participate in unauthorized public events.

Navalny was also implicated in several criminal cases. Currently, he is under house arrest in an embezzlement case at Yves Rocher Vostok, the company’s East Europe subsidiary that sued Alexei Navalny and his brother for fraud and money laundering.

It had been previously reported that the early morning search of Navalny’s apartment was related to the embezzlement of Union of Right Forces party funds, a case in which he is a defendant.

According to investigators, a company headed by Navalny is implicated in the embezzlement of about 100 million rubles (about $3 million), which was allocated to the neoliberal political party, the Union of Right Forces, several years ago.