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Putin Critic Leaves Russia After Alleged Poisoning

Update Date: Feb 21, 2017 07:20 AM EST

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was hospitalized this month after an alleged poisoning. His lawyer said on Sunday that Vladimir and his wife Evgenia have left the country to seek further treatment. They were accompanied by a physician to undergo a rehabilitation course after his second poisoning.

Kara-Murza, 35, first fell into a coma in 2015 after a suspected poisoning. He was then hospitalized February 3 after falling ill, the poisoning led to kidney failure and nearly killed him. Kara-Murza, had been in a critical state of coma before he left. His lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said that the hospital showed the same diagnosis, "toxic effects of unknown substances."

Prokhorov said his client plans to continue to pursue the restoration of democracy in Russia. Kara-Muza and his anti-Putin activist organization, Open Russia, are calling for open elections, a free press and civil right reforms.

According to CNN his wife, Evgenia said he woke up on February 9 from a medically induced coma and has blamed Kremlin for her husband's hospitalization. Her claims cannot be confirmed, and Russia has denied any connection to the illness.

Daily Mail reported that lab tests abroad found high levels of heavy metals in his blood. Russian Investigative Committee had denied his request to probe whether he was a target of intentional poisoning.

Toxic metals most commonly associated with poisoning are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Toxic metal poisoning may occur as a result of exposure to air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints.

Kara-Murza with his wife and three children live in Virginia. He was in Russia to promote a documentary about the assassination of his friend, Boris Nemstov, a former leading opposition figure. Nemstov was shot to death on a bridge near Kremlin in February 2015; four months after Kara-Murza fell ill.

Kara-Murza's hospitalization triggered US Sen. Marco Rubio, who has urged the White House and the State Department to question Russian authorities about the case.

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