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Archive for the ‘Oligarchs & corruption’ Category

2 former cops detained in Israel for passing secrets to Russian-jewish tycoons

Posted by Kris Roman on July 22, 2009

berezovskyyTwo former Israeli policemen have been arrested on suspicion of transmitting secret data to a Russian-jewish oligarch, Russian newspaper Izvestia reports.

According to reports, the policemen had been working for jewish billionaire Boris Berezovsky or another so-called “Russian” businessman Mikhail Chernoy. Mikhail Chernoy or Mikhail Chorny (means “Black”)  is a Russian-born Israeli entrepreneur. He is known for his business ventures and for founding the Michael Cherney Foundation.

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Crime and No Punishment

Posted by Kris Roman on May 27, 2009

themoscowtimes.com

On May 13, Interior Ministry employee Roman Zhirov, driving his powerful SUV, hit and killed a 34-year-old pregnant woman on a Moscow crosswalk. Pregnant woman are not particularly known for sprinting across pedestrian crossways out of nowhere and catching an approaching driver by surprise.

Zhirov pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic to pass a car that had stopped at the crosswalk to let the pregnant woman pass. After Zhirov struck the woman, he raced away, but eyewitnesses wrote down his license plate number. In the West, this would be classified as manslaughter and fleeing the crime scene. In Russia, the investigation was handed over to the same department where Zhirov worked. He was questioned briefly and released.

A scandal erupted 10 days later. The victim’s husband wrote that Zhirov was back at work as if nothing had happened. The scandal spread to the Internet, where a record number of posts finally spilled onto President Dmitry Medvedev’s personal blog. After that, the Interior Ministry reported that Zhirov had been arrested.

But this turned out to be false. Zhirov had not been arrested, but only dismissed for “committing an act bringing dishonor to the police force.”
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Analysis: Khodorkovsky in court again

Posted by Kris Roman on February 23, 2009

mikhail-khodorkovsky-bgby John C.K. Daly

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once famously described the Soviet Union as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” While Kremlinologists during the Cold War attempted to discern the military intentions of the “Evil Empire,” since 1991 the focus has shifted to attempting to discern the patterns of Moscow’s energy policies.

 

Energy analysts will soon have a chance to sharpen their skills again as a Moscow court has ordered that Mikhail Khodorkovsky be sent to Moscow from a detention center in Siberia to face trial on new charges next month in Moscow’s Khamovnichesky district court.

Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky is the former Yukos chief executive and oil tycoon convicted in May 2005 on six of seven charges of embezzlement, tax evasion and fraud. He received a nine-year sentence, which he has been serving in Krasnokamensk in east Siberia’s Chita region near the Chinese border, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow. Khodorkovsky’s former associate Platon Lebedev will also face new charges. Interfax news agency reports that Moscow City Court press secretary Anna Usacheva said, “Preliminary hearings in the new trial of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have been set for March 3.”

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Russian ambassador calls UK ‘reserved area’ for criminals

Posted by Kris Roman on February 10, 2009

berezovskyThe Russian ambassador to Great Britain has labeled the UK a “reserved area” for Russian criminals. Some 20 criminals are now hiding from the Russian law in Great Britain, according to Yury Fedotov, Russia’s ambassador to the UK.

“The UK has turned into sort of a reserved area, where people can safely hide from justice despite having committed grave crimes and being on wanted lists in Russia,” Yury Fedotov says. 

Speaking on the Vesti 24/7 TV-channel, Fedotov stressed that the British will not extradite people who have been previously granted political asylum in the UK. 

“Political asylum is provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the UK. Extradition is impossible without a corresponding decision by British courts. But courts do not consider cases of those already provided with political asylum,” said Fedotov, referring to the Ministry. The ambassador has called the situation “political juggling.” 

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Former Yukos vice-president released on 50 million ruble bail

Posted by Kris Roman on December 30, 2008

Former Yukos Vice-President Vasily Aleksanian has been released on a bail of 50 million rubles, lawyer Yelena Lvova told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“The bail was paid, and guards withdrew from the Moscow hospital room of Aleksanian this evening,” she said.

The Moscow City Court said that Aleksanian could be released on bail on December 8. Aleksanian had been staying at a Moscow hospital. His condition is extremely serious.

Prosecutors charged him with embezzlement of Tomskneft property and shares with the total value of 12 billion rubles and money laundering. He pleaded not guilty.

A new charge of tax evasion was brought in July 2006.

This February the Moscow Simonovsky District Court suspended the trial because of the exacerbated health of Aleksanian. Doctors said he had AIDS-related lymphoma.

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Former head of Yukos department has been sentenced to 15 years in custody for embezzlement

Posted by Kris Roman on December 26, 2008

 

alexei-kurtsinThe Moscow Tagansky District Court has sentenced former acting head of the Yukos property management department Alexei Kurtsin to 15 years in custody and a fine of one million rubles.

He was charged with the embezzlement and laundering of 74 million rubles, Moscow City Court spokesperson Anna Usachyova told Itar-Tass on Friday.

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Oligarchs Seek $78 Billion as Credit Woes Help Putin

Posted by Kris Roman on December 22, 2008

By Yuriy Humber and Torrey Clark

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amPQsygtDmh4&refer=home

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) — Russian oligarchs are lining up for $78 billion of Kremlin loans to survive the credit squeeze, handing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the opportunity to increase government control of the nation’s biggest companies.

Just 12 years after they gained ownership of the former Soviet Union’s industries by bailing out the government, the tables have been turned. More than 100 business leaders are vying for loans from Putin and the administration of PresidentDmitry Medvedev because Russian companies have about $110 billion of foreign obligations due next year, according to the central bank, double the total owed in Brazil, India and China.

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Moscow agrees oligarch bail-out

Posted by Kris Roman on October 30, 2008

 

Catherine Belton
Financial Times

Russia’s state development bank on Wednesday approved $10bn in refinancing for the country’s cash-strapped oligarchs. This came as the first step of a $50bn government bail-out that could redraw Russia’s business landscape.

As part of the package, Oleg Deripaska’s UC Rusal holding company was set to receive a $4.5bn loan. It will use it to repay in full a syndicate of western banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch, that Mr Deripaska has been scrambling to pay by a Friday deadline, people familiar with the situation said.

The approval of the government loan – to be disbursed in the next few weeks – would make it easier for Rusal to persuade the banks to agree an extension of the deadline until the end of November, these people said. “It looks like everything is slotting into place,” said one person close to the creditors.

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Posted by Kris Roman on October 6, 2008

 

mikhail-gutseriyev-russneftRussia has sent Britain a request for the extradition of Mikhail Gutseriyev, the former head of the oil company RussNeft, wanted in Russia on charges of tax evasion, investigators said Monday.

“He is in England, and a request for his extradition has been forwarded,” Igor Tsokolov, department head at the Russian Interior Ministry Investigation Committee, said.

The U.K. Home Office has not commented, saying it never comments on extradition requests.

If tried and convicted, Gutseriyev faces up to six years in prison. He has dismissed the charges as “nonsense”.

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Court sanctions arrest of Euroset vice president Levin

Posted by Kris Roman on September 4, 2008

 

A Moscow court sanctioned on Thursday the arrest of a vice president and a deputy security chief at the Euroset company, Russia’s largest mobile handset retailer, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

Vice President Boris Levin and Andrei Yermilov have been charged with abduction and extortion, among other charges.

“The decision can be appealed in a higher court within three days,” a Basmanny district court judge said.

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Medvedev to sign national anti-corruption plan in near future

Posted by Kris Roman on July 13, 2008

ZAVIDOVO (Tver Region), July 12 (RIA Novosti) –

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told parliamentary party leaders on Saturday that a new anti-corruption plan will be signed in the near future.

Medvedev, a former lawyer, has made the fight against corruption one of his main goals since taking office in early May, and heads the new anti-corruption council.

“A national plan has been drawn up, and only a few minor points remain – I will sign it in the near future,” the president said.

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Russian model Ruslana Korshunova died because of 500,000-dollar lawsuit

Posted by Kris Roman on July 11, 2008

A 20-year-old model, a native of Kazakhstan, Ruslana Korshunova (pictures), died in New York several days ago. The police believe that the girl committed suicide when she stepped out of the window of her apartment on the 9th storey in Manhattan. The answer to the question of what pushed Ruslana towards such a decision has not been found yet. It is not ruled out, though, that there was someone in her apartment who helped her make the deadly jump.

The US and Russian media discuss several versions of the tragedy. One of them says that Korshunova was suffering from depression because of problems at work and in her personal life. Investigators did not find a suicide note, although the files in her computer can easily replace it. Ruslana wrote shortly before her death that she was terribly missing her home and family. She also wrote about her problems in personal life.

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Siberian court extends Yukos founder’s custody to Nov.2

Posted by Kris Roman on July 11, 2008

An East Siberian court ruled on Friday to extend pre-trial custody for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of bankrupt oil company Yukos, until November 2, 2008, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the court.

Last week, Russian prosecutors brought new charges against Khodorkovsky, 45, and his business partner Platon Lebedev, 41, of stealing 350 million metric tons of oil and laundering $28.3 billion.

The previous custody period was due to expire on August 2, 2008.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of tax evasion and large-scale fraud by a Moscow court in May 2005 and sentenced to nine years in prison. The Moscow City Court later reduced their terms to eight years.

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Medvedev’s Crackdown on Corrupt Courts

Posted by Kris Roman on June 14, 2008

http://www.russiaprofile.org
Comment by Alena Ledeneva
Special to RIA Novosti

What Hope Is There for Establishing the Rule of Law in Russia?

“Telephone justice” originated in Soviet times. When a top official wanted a particular result in court, he would simply phone the judge and tell him what the party line was. Long after the Communist Party has ceased to exist, pressure on the courts continues – in spite of reforms to the judicial system in the 1990s and of Vladimir Putin’s 40 percent pay raise for judges, as well as financial support of the courts.

But after almost two decades of reforms, the situation has only improved to a limited degree. Medvedev’s priority today is, as he said a couple of days ago, to eliminate “the practice of unfair decisions made through connections or for money,” and to “make the judicial system genuinely independent from the executive and legislative branches of power.”

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Tycoon pulls his money out of Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on June 11, 2008

Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov has reportedly sold his holdings of domestic assets, including stakes in Gazprom and Sberbank. The world’s 36th weathiest man (according to the Forbes rich list) is believed to have bought substantial stock in overseas financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and UBS.
The Russian business newspaper Kommersant reports that Kerimov’s shares in Gazprom and Sberbank have been sold over the past few months.

Referring to unofficial information, the daily says the tycoon’s assets management company Nafta-Moskva held a 4.5% stake in Gazprom at the beginning of the year, worth an estimated $US 15.37 billion. At the same time, it owned 6% of Sberbank, valued at $US 5.4 billion. It’s believed he has retained very few assets in Russia.

Mr. Kerimov has conducted all the deals through western investment banks, mostly Morgan Stanley of London and Credit Suisse.

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RIA Novosti news agency rejects Kasparov’s propaganda claim

Posted by Kris Roman on June 4, 2008

RIA Novosti

RIA Novosti dismissed on Wednesday opposition leader Garry Kasparov’s accusation that the state Russian news agency publishes government propaganda.

Addressing world news industry leaders in Sweden on Tuesday, the chess grandmaster accused the agency’s editor-in-chief, Svetlana Mironyuk, also present at the forum, of engaging in propaganda on the Kremlin’s orders.

“Such accusations are absolutely groundless,” the agency said in an official statement, while demanding a public apology from Kasparov.

Kasparov also reiterated his view at the World Newspaper Congress in Gothenburg that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s former president and current prime minister, has crushed press freedom in Russia, and urged media executives to challenge the Kremlin on free speech issues.

Responding to Kasparov’s comments at the congress, Yevgeny Abov, representing Russia’s official newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, said RIA Novosti provides “completely free” coverage.

The Other Russia, an umbrella group of opposition parties that includes Kasparov’s United Civil Front, recounted the exchange on its website, saying Kasparov then asked if RIA Novosti would allow him to hold a press-conference, to which Abov replied in the affirmative.

RIA Novosti said in its statement that it follows international news standards and seeks to provide unbiased coverage, giving a voice to opposition leaders in its stories and translating critical foreign newspaper articles.

The agency provided statistics to back up its statement, saying it has published some 300 news stories related to Kasparov and other opposition figures, and hosted over 50 news conferences and other events involving fellow The Other Russia members.

The agency also said Kasparov had never requested a news conference at RIA Novosti.

A website run by RIA Novosti, http://www.inosmi.ru, has published 43 articles on Russia by Kasparov, the statement said.

The chess grandmaster pulled out of the Russian presidential race last December, saying the authorities had made it impossible for him to run.

The new President Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s ally and protege, has signaled his intention to liberalize media in the country.

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Lawyer of U.S.-funded NGO chief attacked in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on May 30, 2008

The lawyer of Manana Aslamazyan, former head of a U.S.-funded non-governmental organization, charged with currency smuggling, has been beaten by unknown attackers in southwest Moscow.

“Two nationalists beat me several times on my head with wooden sticks,” the lawyer, Viktor Parshutkin, told RIA Novosti. The attack occurred late on Thursday.

Parshutkin claimed that one of the attackers said he had a “mission to kill the lawyer” suggesting the incident was linked with Russia’s Constitutional Court ruling in favor of his client.

Meanwhile, Aslamazyan has not confirmed the information saying that she “could not get in touch with her lawyer.”

Aslamazyan, a Russian national but not “Russian”, who headed the Educated Media Foundation, was detained in 2007 by Russian custom officers for failing to declare foreign currency of around $2,800 more than the permitted sum of $10,000.

The court ruled on Tuesday that by charging Aslamazyan with smuggling the entire sum, including the permitted amount of $10,000, the seriousness of the accusations had been inflated, which was unconstitutional and violated the principles of equality and justice.

Aslamazyan should have been charged with an administrative offense which carries a fine of 1,000 to 2,500 rubles ($43-$106), the court said. The lawyer of Aslamazyan said that the court decision meant that “hundreds of thousands” of similar smuggling cases would also be subject to review.

Formerly known as Internews Russia, the Educated Media Foundation was involved in training broadcast journalists, who were largely from the Russian provinces.

Last April, police conducted a raid on the NGO’s Moscow headquarters, seizing computers and financial documents, the group was ordered to suspend its operations following the raids, and was then forced to close down altogether. Aslamazyan was placed on the federal wanted list after leaving Russia.

The case against Aslamazyan prompted more than 2,000 Russian journalists to send an open letter of protest to former-president Vladimir Putin. The journalists claim the proceedings against Aslamazyan were launched to deter foreign-funded NGOs from meddling in Russian politics.

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Russian academicians want Berezovsky expelled – Berezovsky killer of Litvinenko & Politkovskaya ?

Posted by Kris Roman on May 30, 2008

 

Vladimir Strakhov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, called for amendments to its charter on Friday to strip fugitive tycoon Boris Berezovsky of his Academy membership and salary.

Berezovsky, who lives in London, became a member of the academy in 1991 and, despite being convicted of embezzling $43 million from a leading Russian bank, still receives a monthly salary of 10,000 rubles ($420), which will be increased to 25,000 rubles ($1,060) in June.

“If criminal proceedings are launched against a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, he must appear in court and prove the charges are mistaken. And if he fails to do so, he should be expelled,” Strakhov told a general meeting of Academy members.

Strakhov wants amendments made to the Academy Charter to ensure that members convicted of a criminal offense by a court are stripped of their lifetime membership.

Twelve criminal investigations have so far been launched in Russia against Berezovsky, a one-time close associate of the late president Boris Yeltsin, and he also faces a criminal probe in Brazil.

A former chief investigator also claimed last month that Berezovsky was behind the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya ! (And maybe Litvinenko.)

The Kremlin has repeatedly urged Britain to extradite Berezovsky, for plotting to stage a coup against Vladimir Putin, the then-president and current prime minister.

The allegations came after an interview with The Guardian newspaper last April where Berezovsky said: “We need to use force to change this regime…It isn’t possible to change this regime through democratic means. There can be no change without force, pressure.”

 

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Medvedev signs decree on measures to counter corruption

Posted by Kris Roman on May 19, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on measures to counter corruption, the Kremlin said on Monday.

The decree envisions the establishment of an anti-corruption council subordinate to the president.

Speaking on Monday during a presidential conference, Medvedev said it was necessary to draw up a national action plan to counter corruption, and appointed Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin to head an interdepartmental anti-corruption working group. The Prosecutor’s General Office will coordinate its activity.

“We need a package of measures…we need a national anti-corruption program,” Medvedev said, singling out three major sectors.

First, he said, anti-corruption laws should be updated. Secondly, the national program should include measures to fight economic and social corruption, as well as preventive measures. Thirdly, Medvedev said, a mentality of anti-corruption needed to be encouraged in the country, and people needed to be educated on the legal aspects of the issue.

Medvedev, who was inaugurated as president on May 7, focused on corruption in his election speeches. He first voiced the idea of drafting a national anti-corruption program at an economic forum in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk in mid-February.

Medvedev also announced in late February that a program would be ready within several months, and held a special conference in early April to discuss its organizational and legislative aspects.

According to research carried out by the Indem Foundation, led by Georgy Satarov, a former aide to Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin, corruption in Russia annually deprives the national economy of at least $2.8 billion.

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Israel lets fugitive ex-Yukos official keep Israeli citizenship

Posted by Kris Roman on May 15, 2008

RIA Novosti

The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled against stripping ex-Yukos official Leonid Nevzlin, wanted in Russia on charges of organizing murders and attempted murders, of Israeli citizenship, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Nevzlin immigrated to Israel in 2003 following the arrest of several Yukos officials, including CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was Russia’s richest man at the time. Khodorkovsky is now serving an eight-year prison term in Siberia on charges of stealing government shares, illegal oil trading, and laundering $25 billion earned from oil sales in 1998-2004.

Last month, Youli Nudelman, a witness at the trial in absentia of Nevzlin, and also a well-known Israeli human rights activist, told the Moscow City Court that in 2003 Nevzlin had received Israeli citizenship in one month and three days by donating $1.5 million to a diaspora museum and promising an additional $20 million. The citizenship process usually takes at least a year.

Nudelman said Nevzlin also lied in his application for citizenship by stating he was not facing criminal charges in Russia.

“Having realized that the noose around his neck was becoming tighter, Nevzlin fled to Israel and presented a false application; he could not have failed to know he was on the wanted list,” Nudelman said.

Investigators claim that between 1998 and 2002, members of an organized criminal group instructed by Nevzlin killed, among others, businesswoman Valentina Korneyeva and the mayor of the Siberian oil town of Neftyugansk, Yury Petukhov.

Prosecutors said Nevzlin was also behind several attempted murders. They allege he gave direct instructions to the former chief of Yukos security, Alexei Pichugin, to organize and carry out attacks. Pichugin is serving life in prison in Russia for murders and attempted murders. He maintains his innocence.

Russia has been pressing Israel to extradite Nevzlin on murder charges. The businessman, who earlier publicly declared he was willing to spend time and money to oppose the Kremlin following the jailing of Khodorkovsky, has denied the charges, saying the case against him is political.

Once Russia’s largest oil producer, Yukos collapsed after claims of tax evasion, which led to the company being broken up and sold off to meet debts. The bulk of the company’s assets were bought up by government-controlled oil company Rosneft, making it Russia’s largest crude producer.

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Italy to extradite two suspects to Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on April 14, 2008

Italy will extradite to Russia on Monday a Moldovan accused of abduction and extortion and an Russian-Israeli national accused of smuggling works of art, the Russian bureau of Interpol said.

The bureau said Ion Fynaru, 27, accused of kidnap and extortion with the use of violence as member of an organized criminal group in 2003 in Moscow, was detained in Italy in 2006.

Mikhail Pombrik, 77, accused of smuggling art works, has been on the Interpol wanted list since 2004, and was arrested in Italy in May last year. He fled to Italy from Israel, where he previously served a two-year jail term for assault.

Fynaru and Pombrik will be extradited to Russia by a convoy made up of officers from the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service and Interpol’s bureau in Russia.

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Did Litvinenko poison himself?

Posted by Kris Roman on March 21, 2008

Did Litvinenko poison himself?Aleksandr Litvinenko

A journalist with the New York Sun newspaper is claiming that Aleksandr Litvinenko may have accidentally poisoned himself while trying to smuggle polonium-210. Edward Epstein reached his conclusions after an investigation lasting well over a year. Aleksandr Litvinenko, a former Russian Intelligence officer, died of polonium-210 poisoning in November 2006.

 

Britain believes he was murdered with the highly toxic isotope by another former Russian Intelligence officer Andrey Lugovoy, and has asked Moscow to extradite him.Russia’s refused, saying it contradicts the country’s constitution. Moscow says it will prosecute Lugovoy if Britain presents any proof of his guilt.Edward Epstein spent months on his investigation, which took him to London and Moscow.“My investigation started about November 28, 2006, and I was investigating this issue on and on, up to now, almost a year and a half. The first stage of my investigation was to find out what evidence actually exists – that’s why I went to Russia – and the second stage was to find out in what activities Litvinenko was involved,” Edward Epstein told Russia Today.But the journalist says this is by no means the end of his journey.He claims there is no substantial evidence against Lugovoy. He goes on to say that Litvinenko, as a former security officer, had contacts in arms-smuggling circles.Epstein says Litvinenko may have come into contact with the radioactive substance that contaminated and killed him either by accident or by design.In Moscow Andrey Lugovoy, who is Britain’s main suspect in the Litvinenko case and a deputy of the Russian Parliament, says he welcomes the article in the New York Sun.A controversial figure in the case himself, he still believes the U.S. journalist has come a lot closer to the truth than the British authorities.“I am happy at the fact that this publication has seen the light. We have been calling on the journalist community throughout the year asking them to make their investigation, take interviews and ask questions. This reporter was among those few who heard our appeal. We were in contact several times, talked on the phone. I liked his questions because they were not general. They showed he was involved in a deep and thorough investigation,” Lugovoy said.Meanwhile, political analyst Dmitry Babich says Epstein’s ability to acquire information may be a sign of bias.“Usually journalists when they are admitted to this kind of secrets, sometimes play on the side of the people who allow them to see these documents,” Babich said.Competing claims The Litvinenko case is full of mysteries. The diagnosis given to him by University College Hospital was poisoning from thallium, a non-radioactive toxin used in Russian rat poison.And the traces of polonium-210 were found only two hours before the former security officer’s death, when nothing more could be done to help him.

Andrey LugovoyAndrey Lugovoy, Britain’s number one suspect

There have been several theories about Litvinenko’s death.According to one of them, Boris Berezovsky, the Russian tycoon in exile, for whom Litvinenko worked, was involved.Another theory is that he was killed because of his research into the Russian government’s campaign against the management of the Russian oil company Yukos.British officials have also claimed that he was murdered by former FSB officers or members of a criminal gang linked to them, without the involvement of the Russian government.The investigation of the case led to a crisis in relations between the two countries. Britain expelled four Russian diplomats from London. Russia reacted similarly by expelling four British diplomats.Another spin-off of the conflict was Russia’s decision to close two regional offices of the British Council, the international cultural arm of the British government, in January this year, alleging they were operating illegally.In October 2007, a British newspaper, The Daily Mail, claimed that Aleksandr Litvinenko had been a MI6 agent receiving around 2,000 pounds a month from the British Intelligence Service. 

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Roman Abramovich opens luxury hospital for millionaires in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on March 21, 2008

A hospital for millionaires opened in Moscow. It became the first-ever hospital of the kind that has ever been organized in Russia. The hospital is located in the north-west of Russia’s capital, close to the so-called reservation of millionaires, known as Rublyovka. The hospital is capable of servicing up to 50 VIP patients at a time. Roman Abramovich’s company, Millhouse LLC, acted as the project investor.

Roman Abramovich opens luxury hospital for millionaires in Moscow
Roman Abramovich opens luxury hospital for millionaires in Moscow
 

Artyom Tolokonin, an author of the project, said that the creation of such a medical institution would allow to render first class medical services in Russia, which are now available only in several privately owned hospitals of Western Europe and the USA. The Moscow VIP hospital hopes to become a competition at this point, attracting not only wealthy Russians, but Western millionaires too.

The servicing program for one year will cost about 1.5 million rubles ($62,500). Investments in the implementation of the project make up about $10 million.

The hospital for millionaires will distinguish greatly from the vast majority of Russian hospitals. Most of them still use the outdated equipment of the 1970s.

The clinic will become another addition to Roman Abramovich’s extensive list of property. He currently owns five yachts – the fleet, which the media called “Abramovich’s Navy.”

He owns a private Boeing 767-33A/ER, known as “The Bandit” due to its cockpit area paint detail. Originally the aircraft was ordered by Hawaiian Airlines but the order was cancelled and Abramovich had it refitted to his own requirements. The Boeing 767 replaces a smaller Boeing 737-7CG BBJ. Abramovich also owns Eurocopter helicopters based on his yachts, Blackbushe airport or at his home near Rogate in Sussex, England.

As of early 2007 he has been using a smaller aircraft for his European travels. The Austrian-registered Dassault Falcon 900 registration OE-IDX is instantly recognizable by the livery similar to P4-MES.

In 2004 Abramovich bought two Maybach 62 limousines. He had these customized to be bomb proof and have bullet-proof glass. They were reported to have cost him £1 million. In September 2007, the French newspaper Le Figaro incorrectly claimed that Abramovich was the previously unidentified customer for the first private Airbus A380 Superjumbo. At the 2007 Dubai Air Show it was revealed that the jet was in fact ordered by Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, the CEO of Kingdom Holdings.

Prepared by Dmitry SudakovPravda.ru

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Ex-Yukos VP stands trial in absentia in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on March 20, 2008

Ex-Yukos VP stands trial in absentia in Moscow

 A Moscow court is hearing the case against the former Yukos Vice-President Leonid Nevzlin, with jewish roots. He is accused of being involved in a number of contract killings and attempted murders, as well as tax evasion and fraud. The trial will be held in absentia as Nevzlin currently lives in exile in Israel.

The court must consider 84 volumes of material during the hearings.Dmitry Kharitonon, the lawyer who is representing Nevzlin in Russia, says he was not given enough time to study the documents before the trial. He also accused the judge of being biased and having his own personal interests in the case.“Novikov is personally interested in the outcome of the case,” the lawyer said.The court said these statements were unfounded.The Litvinenko caseThe prosecution is also suggesting there may be a link between the poisoning of Aleksandr Litvinenko and criminal cases underway against Yukos executives.“We have received information that mercury was found in the victims’ cars, in their apartments, country houses and offices, and not only in Moscow but also in London.This and other information discovered by the investigation leads to a possible connection between two criminal cases: the killing of Aleksandr Litvinenko and the attempted murder of businessman Dmitry Kovtun, and the case accusing a number of Yukos executives of committing serious and exceedingly grave crimes against the life and health of humans,” said Marina Gridneva, from the Prosecutor General’s Office.  Nevzlin has admitted he met Litvinenko shortly prior to his death but dismisses the new accusation as a continuation of political games.  Other murdersProsecutors will also describe how Nevzlin ordered the murder of Vladimir Petukhov, Mayor of the west Siberian oil town of Nefteyugansk. Petukhov was gunned down in June 1998 when he and his bodyguard were walking to work. Investigators allege the motive for the killing was Petukhov’s attempts to recover taxes that Yukos owed to the city.“They started openly threatening my husband. They employed all gangster methods to intimidate him,” said Farida Islamova, Petukhov’s widow.In the same year, an attempt was made on the life of the East Petroleum Company’s boss, Evgeny Rybin, whose car was rigged with a bomb. Rybin has filed a number of lawsuits against Yukos, claiming the oil company owe him more than $US 100 million.Nevzlin maintains his innocence and, in fact, accuses Rybin of blackmailing and falsifying documents against Yukos.Another killing Nevzlin was allegedly behind was that of Valentina Korneeva, a Moscow businesswoman, in 1998. Korneeva refused to sell property in central Moscow to the Menatep Group, which at the time controlled over 50 per cent of Yukos. Former Yukos Security Chief, Aleksey Pichugin, was sentenced to life imprisonment last August for organising all these crimes. During the Pichugin trial, Nevzlin was named as the person one who’d ordered the contracts. Nevzlin claims he is a victim of a campaign against those linked to Yukos’ founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.Nevzlin fled the country for Israel in 2003, where he remains in self-exile. Nevzlin was put on the international wanted list in July 2004. Israel has refused to extradite him to Russia, saying more evidence was required.

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