“Several close sources from the environment of the Presidential Administration said that if I do not leave the country, the fake criminal case will be continued until my arrest. If I stay, a sanction has been given to resolve Gudkov's issue "in any way", - Gudkov wrote.
According to Gudkov, a criminal case against him about property damage allegedly caused to officials of the Moscow mayor's office was initiated for political reasons. The purpose of the persecution is to push the politician out of the September elections to the State Duma, where he intended to run and negotiated with the Yabloko party.
“I hope that with my departure the zeal of the gendarmes will decrease”, - he explained.
According to the politician, the decision to leave was supported by his family and friends, who also received serious information about the threats and risks.
Investigators opened a criminal case on causing damage to the Moscow Property Department (clause "b", part 2 of article 165 of the Criminal Code) against Gudkov and his aunt Irina Ermilova. According to the investigation, Ermilova owed about 1 million rubles under a lease agreement for non-residential premises in 2015-2017.
As part of this case, Gudkov's apartment and his dacha were broken into with searches. Searches also took place in the apartment of his aunt, his former assistant Alexander Solovyov and chief of staff Vitaly Venidiktov.
As noted by Novaya Gazeta, for two days Gudkov was held in custody in an isolation ward on Petrovka. After a series of protests by human rights defenders and statements by the international community, on June 3, Gudkov was released without any charges being brought against him and without a measure of restraint being imposed on him.
On the same day, his aunt Irina Ermilova was released on recognizance not to leave. However, then the searches continued at other family members.
After Gudkov's departure, a number of media outlets reported that the politician had allegedly violated his recognizance not to leave. To this he said: "I have no subscription, do not read Soviet newspapers!"
The father of Dmitry Gudkov, ex-deputy of the State Duma Gennady Gudkov called what happened to his son and other relatives "a cleanup of the whole family".
"Dear friends! Thank you for your understanding of Dmitry's dramatic and very difficult decision and your support! The fight is not over and will continue. And you can do more in freedom than in a prison or a grave. But the country was taken away from us by the criminal Putin clique... It's a shame to tears!”, - wrote Gennady Gudkov.