French authorities are investigating threats against an exiled Russian dissident after he reported seeing a laser sight light in a possible assassination bid, a source close to the probe said on Tuesday. Vladimir Osechkin, who leads the Gulagu.net NGO that specialises in uncovering abuses in Russian prisons, is a refugee in France and is based in the resort town of Biarritz on its southwest coast. Osechkin, an avowed opponent of President Vladimir Putin, said he was targeted on the evening of September 12 when he was at home with his wife and children and working in the dark. “I noticed a moving red dot on the railing of one of the terraces and then moving towards me on the wall,” he told AFP by telephone. “We turned off the light, lay down on the floor, closed the shutters and called the police.” He added that police and neighbours had heard shots were fired. Osechkin said he had been informed in February of an assassination plot against him and was subsequently put under police protection.