Russian opposition leader arrested in Finland

Helsinki, Aug 28 (IANS) Russian opposition leader Vasili Popov has been detained by Finnish police at the request of Russian authorities, Finnish media reported on Friday.

Vasili Popov, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (Yabloko) of Russia, was taken away by police from his home in Joensuu, eastern Finland, on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

According to information obtained by Finnish daily Ilta-Sanomat, Russian authorities suspected Popov of real estate fraud conducted in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Russian republic of Karelia.

Popov denied the allegations, saying that the custody is a case of political persecution because he is an opponent of Aleksandr Hudilainen, governor of Karelia.

Popov told the Finnish daily that several other opponents of Hudilainen have been in criminal investigations in Karelia recently.

Popov is also one of the most successful businessmen in the capital of Karelia. He relocated to Finland earlier this year, according to Finnish national broadcaster Yle.