среда, 30 ноября 2011 г.

Legal eagles are requested to stay out of Mirax


Moscow offices of two international legal firms, Herbert Smith LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP, have received a letter from non-commercial partnership for protection of the rights of co-investors in Fort Kutuzov residential development project, Russian business news TV channel RBK daily reports. Fort Kutuzov co-investors asks legal firms to stop assisting bankrupt billionaire Sergei Polonsky's Avanta OOO in negotiations over debt restructuring of NAZVANIE.NET company (former Mirax Group).

In 2005 Avanta OOO struck a deal with FCSR Closed JSC, under which Avanta invested into FCSR residential development project called Fort Kutuzov in Moscow in exchange for the housing premises when the development is completed. In 2010 FCSR terminated the deal, says chairman of FCSR Petr Ivanov.

Co-investors believe that Avanta can not act as a guarantor of the debt of NAZVANIE.NET because «the company owes over 5.7 billion roubles (142.5 million euros) to private investors who made pre-payments for their flats». In their view, the lawyers devises a «legal framework» to make Avanta unliable for its debt obligations.

«Contact Mirax Group for comments», RBK daily was told by Herbert Smith CIS LLP. Later on Herbert Smith said they had not received the letter.

Latham&Watkins were unavailable for comments. Asked by RBK daily correspondent, the secretary refused to put him through to a person in charge.

Dmitry Uchitel, chairman of the partnership for protection of the rights of co-investors in Fort Kutuzov, told RBK daily that the letter had been sent first-class and the copy of it was available on the internet. «If they say they haven't received it, they are stretching the truth,» Uchitel said.

«If facts of unethical conduct come throught, the firms are likely to face expulsion from the International Bar Association at most. Membership in the IBA gives status to the firm. They can spoil their reputation and lose clients. But it will happen if the case receives publicity and not here, but in London», said Yuri Nikolayev, head of Moscow's Nikolayev and Partners firm.

The copies have been sent to the Prosecutor General's offices and the IBA in order to see whether the actions of the foreign law firms are honest.


Baturin held for forging promissory notes


Viktor Baturin was detained on Monday by Moscow police on charges of huge fraud after chief investigative directorate within GU MVD for Moscow opened an investigation into what appears to be a crime under Article 159.30 and 40 of the RF Crime Code, i.e. attempted large-scale


Baturin is reported by Rumafia.com to have been arrested in his Moscow office. Baturin, who is the brother-in-law of former Moscow mayor, is suspected of an attempt to sell forged promissory notes of Inteco-Agro and Inteco company to a British investor for 5.5 billion roubles ($180
m). Earlier a note of Inteco was called by Rosagrolising company to cover for buying gricultural machinery and cattle, but it turned out that the note was fake. It took time to clear things up with the note, and the police did not announce Baturin's detention.

By Russian law Baturin can be held in custody for 48 hours only, but it is likely that the court will issue an arrest warrant against him. The investigation into Baturin is led by the same police unit which probed into the recent real estate scam.


Yusufov denied Medvedev’s link to Bank of Moscow takeover


Former advisor to the RF president Igor Yusufov denied allegations made by former president of Bank of Moscow Andrei Borodin. Borodin is quoted as saying that Yusufov bought Borodin’s stake in Bank of Moscow on Medvedev’s orders, in a move he described as politically motivated.

“In the situation surrounding Bank of Moscow I acted on my own initiatives and did not receive any instructions. I firmly believe that the former banker is now trying to make it look like as if there was politics in the case. I would not believe a word of a suspect in the major criminal case, who is wanted by Interpol,” Yusufov said.

Yusufov said that when he had told Borodin about “establishing the financial empire for a young man” he referred to Vitaly Yusufov, his son, not president Medvedev.

“I am not going to establish an empire, but I am glad to support business projects of my son and ready to share with him my expertise,” Igor Yusufov said.

After state-run VTB bank took over Bank of Moscow it emerged that there was a significant hole in its assets. It received a huge bailout from the state.


Khodorkovsky’s associate wants leniency without repentance


Former head of Menatep Group Platon Lebedev, jailed to 13 years in prison for embezzlement of large sum of money from selling oil and money laundering, has appealed against the legal provision requiring convicts to plea guilty before asking for parole.

Lebedev appealed to the Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, demanding that certain articles of the Penitentiary Code be considered unconstitutional. According to the Article 175.1 of the Code, convicts can apply for parole after pleading guilty and covering damages, at least partially. Lebedev submitted request for parole, but a court rejected it, ruling that he had not pleaded guilty and had not covered the damages voluntary. Lebedev’s lawyers say that he has never pleaded guilty and that the demand for such a plea goes against his constitutional right not to testify against himself.

Earlier the court rejected a complaint against Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s guilty verdict. Lebedev and Khodorkovsky were found guilty of embezzlement of money from selling 200 million tons of oil and tax evasion.

Lawyers of Lebedev said to Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) that they understood that even if the Constitution Court ruled in favour of Lebedev, a lower court might again reject his request.


Former Bank of Moscow heads wanted by Interpol


The former head of Russia's fifth largest lender, Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, and his former deputy Dmitry Akulinin have been put on an Interpol wanted list.

Russia earlier placed international arrest warrants for the two men, but the Interpol warrant is likely to make it harder for them to escape arrest.

Borodin, who together with Akulinin held 20.3 percent in the bank, did not want to lose his shares but in spring he finally gave up and sold his stake to businessman Vitaly Yusufov, the son of former Russian
Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, who in turn sold the stake to VTB.

Borodin claimed the bank's takeover was "political" and ordered by Medvedev in order to establish state control of the bank. Both the presidential administration and Yusufov denied Medvedev's involvement.

RIA Novosti

2 oligarchs face prison after defrauding Snoras and Krajbanka


Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov was arrested in the UK on Thursday after Lithuanian prosecutors issued extradition warrants against him. Antonov is accused of asset stripping of Snoras bank.

Sources claim that one more Russian billionaire might be linked to the scam.

In recent times Antonov cooperated with Polonsky who helped him to cover the fraud up. Real estate tycoon Polonsky mortgaged his Moscow incomplete developments, transferring to Snoras the rights over the flats that belong to other people. At first Polonsky and Antonov thought they had orchestrated a perfect scam. A few years ago Antonov moved almost all Snoras’ liquid assets, $400-500 million worth, to foreign accounts. He disguised the fraud under a series of loans which the bank allocated to front companies with no real asset backing. For current banking operations Snoras solely used money from the deposits of legal and natural persons of Lithuania. The bank’s billion dollar worth assets existed only on paper. Snoras’ books stated the following assets as belonging to the bank:

-          expensive securities (in fact worth nothing at all);

-          money in the accounts of foreign banks (these banks are owned by Antonov and in truth have no money from Snoras in their accounts);

-          money in the accounts of offshore companies to which Snoras gave loans (the companies are controlled by Antonov and have no assets).

When Lithuanian banking regulators got alarmed by Snoras’ activities, Vladimir Antonov’s father-in-law and former KGB officer Viktor Yampolsky introduced him to Moscow developer Sergei Polonsky. In Russia everyone knew that Polonsky was a bankrupt.

The talks between Polonsky and Antonov took place in England and Switzerland. The deal was mutually profitable. Polonsky pledged his Moscow developments, which are under constructions, to secure Snoras’ loans to offshore companies (i.e. to secure stripped assets). Antonov received more or less valuable assets for the banking operations, whereas Polonsky got rid of annoying co-investors in his developments and Moscow authorities who wanted the have the developments completed.

A source that took part in the negotiations told Rumafia.com that Antonov and Polonsky had planned that Snoras would begin legal actions in Russia to seize Polonsky’s property. The process would be painful and take a long time, because the property was left as a pledge with the depositors of Snoras, citizens of Lithuania. According to the written commitments, if Snoras won the case, Polonsky would have a share from reselling the developments in Moscow and a share from selling Swedish car manufacturer Saab, which belongs to Antonov. Polonsky also had the option to get his property back if he cleared debt in time.

Polonsky and Antonov were happy. As he did it before, Polonsky dumped co-investors and partners and moved assets to Europe. Antonov filled in the financial hole in Snoras. But the plans of the couple of crooks were in tatters when the Lithuanian authorities decided to probe into the bank. Tired of Antonov’s scams, Lithuania put Snoras under involuntary state administration on 16 November.

Our source said that Polonsky was literally infuriated when he heard the news. He approached Antonov on the phone and told him that Antonov had “let him down” and “cheated” on him and urged Antonov to pay back.

The anger of Polonsky is quite understandable. Surely, he will get nothing from Snoras. What makes things worse he now faces legal prosecution.

On 22 November Polonsky met Antonov in London and demanded he give his money back, at least partially. But it was too late. On 23 November Scotland Yard arrested Antonov over Lithuanian extradition warrant. Lithuanian police began investigation into asset stripping of Snoras. The investigators have already seized paperwork concerning unsecured loans. They have also obtained documents pertaining to Polonsky. Their careful examination will show that Polonsky was paid by Antonov to cover up asset stripping scam. Polonsky deceived representatives of Snoras saying that the developments he left with the bank as a pledge were completed and not liable to any obligations from the third parties. In fact it was co-investors who funded the buildings works. The co-investors are true co-owners of the building.

In banking terms Polonsky is an unscrupulous pledgee and, thus, legible to legal prosecution in almost all countries. In legal terms Polonsky’s actions can be classified as unsecured loan scam and fraud.

Our source said that Polonsky was afraid of legal prosecution. Should he travel to a European country he might face Antonov’s fate, i.e. arrest and extradition to Lithuania. Polonsky can not enter Germany after the appeals of defrauded co-investors in his projects. Now, after Antonov’s arrest, the USA might levy sanctions against him. Polonsky expected to receive his share from Antonov’s selling his stake in Swiss carmaker Saab to a Chinese company. But Saab’s controlling owner American GM corporation blocked the deal. The Americans did not want to see the Chinese get Saab’s smart technologies. Antonov was barred from entering the US and blacklisted by the US security services. As a person interested in the deal, Polonsky could face the same sanctions. 

Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

2 oligarchs face prison after defrauding Snoras and Krajbanka



Former mayor vs future prime minister


The Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department questioned last week former mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov as a witness in a case, involving huge misappropriation of state funds by the Bank of Moscow. In the past the ousted mayor seemed to have no problems with the law, but the situation changed dramatically after Luzhkov’s remarks, containing harsh criticism of incumbent president Dmitry Medvedev. Rumafia correspondent found out that it was former minister of finance Aleksei Kudrin and western political advisors who induced Luzhkov into making unreasonable statements.

A few months ago a source in the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department told Rumafia that the police did not have plans to interrogate Luzhkov about headlines-breaking Bank of Moscow case. “Concerning Luzhkov, we haven’t received orders from the top. His testimony is not crucial, and we are not going to summon him for questioning. We are not probing into the city-sponsored bailout to rescue Bank of Moscow, but into the fraudulent loan that the bank gave to Elena Baturina’s companies. Her testimony is very important, but she does not respond to the summons,” the source said. However, in an interview to foreign media Luzhkov tackled thorny subject of Dmitry Medvedev’s policy.         

In October mayor told the Radio Liberty that Medvedev would be “very weak” as a prime minister - Medvedev is expected to become prime minister in March 2012, when former president Putin will return to his post. “Medvedev would make as inefficient prime minister of Russia as he was a president,” Luzhkov said. Next day the Investigative Department summoned him for questioning.

There is a delicate aspect of the situation. It is Russia’s Investigative Committee that leads investigation of such important cases as that of Bank of Moscow. The head of the Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, is considered Vladimir Putin’s protégé. However the investigation into the troubled bank is led by the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department. Not long ago the department got a new director - Valery Kozhokar, Dmitry Medvedev’s university friend.

Dmitry Medvedev and Yury Luzhkov have never got on well. Being the mayor of Russia’s capital, Luzhkov considered Putin to be a true ruler of the state and treated Medvedev disrespectfully. A source in the Kremlin told Rumafia that Luzhkov relied on Putin’s support and had guarantees from the prime minister. Situation surrounding Khimki forest put Luzhkov on thin ice. He openly opposed Medvedev’s standpoint, causing anger of the president. Medvedev sacked Luzhkov in autumn 2010. Putin did not help Luzhkov out. “Luzhkov has never been in Putin’s close circle. Not once he let Vladimir down,” the source said.

For a time being the ousted mayor stopped criticizing Medvedev, but in October he continued getting at the president. He joined forces with another official who fell out with the Kremlin - former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin.

Here the situation is even more serious. Our source in the Kremlin said that Kudrin always disliked Medvedev. At the beginning of the 90s Kudrin was a first deputy mayor of Saint Petersburg, whereas Medvedev worked as a lawyer for a notorious local company called Ilim Pulp. Future president of Russia was a protégé of Saint Petersburg mayor Sobchak and Kudrin had to cooperate with him. Kudrin looked down on the underling. The time passed, and the underling became president, whereas Kudrin was a minister, though a prominent one. Kudrin never opposed Medvedev, but from time to time he showed his disagreement with him. According to the Kremlin insider, Kudrin had an agreement with Putin: if Putin decided to return to the presidential office, the finance minister would be promoted to the prime minister.

On 24 September the ruling United Russia party held a congress. Addressing the party, Putin and Medvedev announced that the former would run for the presidency in 2012, while the latter would become a prime minister. “A month before the conference it became clear that Putin would get back to the job of president. However no one expected that they would swap jobs, and Medvedev would be a new prime minister. It surprised everyone in the Kremlin. Neither Timakova, no Gromov [Medvedev and Putin’s spokesmen], no other people close to Putin or Medvedev had not been aware of the announcements,” the source said.

Aleksei Kudrin was surprised more than others, for he dreamt about the office of the prime minister. A few days after the conference he made a statement about Medvedev in Washington, saying that he disagreed with Medvedev’s economic policy and did not see himself in Medvedev’s cabinet. Medvedev fought back immediately, demanding that Kudrin resign right away.    

Putin held out a helping hand to Kudrin, but his help was partial. He let Kudrin leave the cabinet, but said that Kudrin would get a job offer after Putin’s return as a president. “Kudrin was sacrificed in order to prevent Medvedev against ill-conceived steps before the elections. Anything for a quiet life, that is Putin’s strategy,” said a source close to Putin.

A source close to the ousted mayor told Rumafia about the meeting between Luzhkov and former finance minister. Kudrin told Luzhkov that the relationships in the tandem were not as bright as they appeared, and Medvedev would not be a prime minister for long. Kudrin added that he might become a prime minister in the time to come. And of cause Kudrin told Luzhkov all the nasty things about Medvedev.

Luzhkov decided that the meeting was a signal to act, but before he acted he hired political consultants.

According to our source, Luzhkov has been using services of a team of political consultants, who emigrated from the USSR back in the 1970s. They helped Luzhkov to build sustainable relationships with the authorities of Austria. Luzhkov and Baturina feel at home in that country. The consultants analyzed the situation and prepared a report. According to them, Putin will disagree with Medvedev’s policy and will have to rule the government himself. Putin will not want to execute the duties of both president and prime minister, which will put an end to Putin-Medvedev alliance. Medvedev will lose his post quickly. 

Luzhkov calculated that criticizing Medvedev he would gain political scores. He has placed his bet on Putin, whom he does not criticize. That is why his comments on Medvedev appeared in the media. Very soon we will see whether the ousted mayor is right in his choice.     

Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

среда, 23 ноября 2011 г.

Former Bank of Moscow heads wanted by Interpol


The former head of Russia’s fifth largest lender, Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, and his former deputy Dmitry Akulinin have been put on an Interpol wanted list.

Russia earlier placed international arrest warrants for the two men, but the Interpol warrant is likely to make it harder for them to escape arrest.

Borodin, who together with Akulinin held 20.3 percent in the bank, strongly opposed the acquisition but in spring he finally gave up and sold his stake to businessman Vitaly Yusufov, the son of former Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, who in turn sold the stake to VTB.

Borodin claimed the bank’s takeover was "political" and ordered by Medvedev in order to establish state control of the bank. Both the presidential administration and Yusufov denied Medvedev's involvement.

RIA Novosti

Baltiysky Zavod saw no real change of management


Control established by the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) over Baltiysky Zavod belonging to Sergei Pugachev’s entities, is in fact, only on paper.

In the framework of the case concerning foreclosure of Baltiysky Zavod shares, the Bank of Russia filed a petition to court to replace the head of the plant and to permit the plant to conduct a transaction without the approval of the board of directors. The bank explained its appeal to court claiming the current situation to be an obstacle to proper functioning of the plant. The relevant authorities are unable to manage the plant, since certain kind of transactions lie within the exclusive competence of the board of directors, and it is not possible to hold a meeting to make a decision.

This means that no effective control has been established over Baltiysky Zavod after its shares were transferred to USC. Although already about a month ago the authorities reported a change of management. At that time deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak announced that Andrei Fomichev, who had been the head of Baltiysky Zavod since October 2008, resigned as CEO, handing his powers by proxy over to Valery Venkov, acting CEO from USC.

According to the Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), next week the plant was promised a contract worth 3 billion rubles to construct supply vessel for Gazflot.


Saint-Petersburg Bank main shareholder may face distrainment


Vitaly Arkhangelsky, the founder of Oslo Marine group, appealed to the British Virgin Islands court to subject to distrainment foreign property of Aleksandr Saveliev, the major shareholder in the group, Saint-Petersburg Bank president and the owner of 28% of the shares.

The Court has compelled the banker and other defendants, including the bank, to provide information about their accounts and assets worth 4 billion rubles. In addition, the court requires Saveliev to come to an agreement with Arkhangelsky concerning his weekly expenses if they exceed 7,000 dollars. If defendants fail to meet the court’s requirements, they will be arrested when crossing the border.

According to the Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), it was already on 9 November 2011 that British Virgin Islands court ruled to arrest the property of the banker at the suit filed by the businessman.


Lithuania takes over Convers Group owner Vladimir Antonov’s key bank


Lithuania’s banking regulator has suspended operations of Snoras bank, the 5th largest in the country, appointed a temporary state administrator and announced its plans to takeover 100% of the lender’s shares.

The government discussed the situation surrounding the bank, and the president made a statement. The Lithuanian central bank acted after it emerged that some of the bank’s assets were of worse quality than it had been expected.

The bank declared some foreign securities, worth of 290 million euros, as assets, which the investigation showed did not exist.

Antonov has swapped bad assets of Snoras for Sergei Polonsky’s former Mirax (now Nazvanie.net) frozen development projects in Moscow that have high liquidity. The move enabled Polonsky to siphon off most of the money of defrauded shareholders and creditors into his foreign accounts. It is now a headache of Russian and Lithuanian authorities to fix the problem.

The debt, which Nazvanie.Net has declared, is $45 million, but in fact it exceeds this figure and amounts to hundred millions of dollars.

Antonov has been involved in a number of financial scams before. He has always had problems with banking regulators. His Conversbank and Conversbank-Moscow were barred from participating in deposit insurance scheme, run by the Russian government, and the U.K. Financial Services Authority denied Snoras permission to operate in Britain, because “the bank would be unable to cooperate with the FSA in open and constructive manner”.

The scam was very simple. Antonov bought or set up banks - for instance, he acquired Lithuanian Snoras and Russian Investbank. The banks borrowed money from individuals and private companies for high interest. Antonov moved accumulated money into various projects of his own. He owned a lot of financial institution that enabled him to keep afloat, moving funds from one institution to another in order to fill in financial holes, if the problems occurred.

The scam worked until 2010, when it became obvious that Snoras and Investbank were on the verge of insolvency and even minor economic instability could have defrauded tens of thousands of people. The situation was even more dangerous in Lithuania. The hole in the bank’s balance sheet amounted to $100 million. The money was moved to the accounts of front companies in the form of unsecured loans. Antonov found no other way out, than to bring notorious Sergei Polonsky into his business.

By 2010 Polonsky and his Mirax Group had already gone bankrupt. The debt of his companies was estimated from $600 million to $1 billion. Former oligarch dreamt about saving at list part of his wealth and moving the assets abroad. He was open to any proposals, including that of most suspicious nature. This was common ground for talks between Antonov and Polonsky. They discussed the scam first in London, than in Antonov’s private chalet in Switzerland. The sides discussed the details of large-scale fraud.

Under the agreements reached by Polonsky and Antonov, Snoras swapped the securities of front companies for the ownership rights over developments, run by Mirax Group in Moscow (Dubrovskaya Sloboda, Mirax Park and Kutuzovskays Milya residential complexes, and Federation tower in Moscow-City business centre). Through his connections in the Staff of the Russian Federation President Polonsky received permission to strike share pledge agreements with the third party - the front companies, which Antonov had used to move money from his bank. After all, Polonsky sold his developments and got money, which had been siphoned off from Snoras.

The money of defrauded shareholders and creditors of Polonsky’s Mirax filled in the financial hole in Snoras. Now the bank owns a few objects in Moscow, which are despite being under construction are above all real and liquid, unlike the securities of the front companies.

Polonsky has also benefited from the scam. Antonov committed himself to move large sums of money to offshore companies controlled by Polonsky. Antonov planned to resell Saab and other assets. He negotiated with the Chinese about the deal, according to the inside information. In the end, Polonsky has moved his most profitable assets abroad and they are under control of Snoras’ shareholders and depositors, who lent money to Mirax Group on the security of the Mirax Moscow’s developments. If Moscow authorities, or Russian creditors of Nazvanie.net decide to take over the developments of Polonsky, they will have to infringe upon the reights of the EU citizens. After all, Mirax got loans at unpresidentally low rate - just 7% a year. In 2010 reliable lenders gave loans to Polonsky at the rate of 20-30%. If Mirax Group owner decided to bail out his objects in Moscow he would do it easily. Such option is a part of the agreement between Antonov and Polonsky.

In a nutshell, co-investors of Polonsky’s Mirax Group and Moscow authorities face a long struggle with the member of the EU, whereas Antonov and Polonsky are very happy with the success of their scheme.


Lebedev’s libel suit against Kommersant turned down


Moscow’s Court of Arbitration has turned down 11 million roubles ($370,000) defamation suit, filed by businessman Aleksandr Lebedev’s National Reserve Bank, or NRB, against Kommersant publishing house.

Lebedev wanted to sue journalist Vladimir Trifonov and Darya Yurisheva for the article titled NRB Returns Income to Shareholders, published in Kommersant daily on 4 March 2011.

NRB claimed that the article in Kommersant contained information “damaging for the reputation of the bank”. NRB brought the libel action, demanding that Kommersant pay 10 million roubles in damages to the bank and 1 million to Lebedev, and publish a refutation. Earlier the plaintiff said that Irina Kireeva, chairman of the board of Russian Capital bank, had been accused of siphoning assets, and NRB had nothing to do with the fraud scheme.

The representative of Kommersant said that the plaintiff’s claims were “ungrounded”, because “there was no defamatory information in the fragments [of the article] in question”. In October the Court of Arbitration dismissed two libel lawsuits, filed by Lebedev against Kommersant. NRB lost another libel suit against Kommersant publishing house on 7 November. The bank sought 10 million roubles in damages.


Deripaska would have had a strike… Shvidler says in London’s High Court


Evgeny Shvidler, Abramovich’s right-hand man and former president of Sibneft, gave testimony before the UK High Court in London. He told the judges of his role in striking purchase agreements for Rusal assets and buying Sibneft oil giant. Boris Berezovsky’s lawyer struggled to show that in every agreement signed Abramovich and Shvidler, like Badri Patarkatsishvili and Berezovsky, were partners or parties to a contract. It emerged from Shvidler’s testimony that he had never been Abramovich’s full partner.

The court heard about the loans-for-shares scheme, under which Oil Financial Company or NFK acquired state-owned Sibneft. For two times Berezovsky was a chairman of NFK. “He was appointed twice,” Shvidler said. According to him, Berezovsky did not run the company, but to sign a contract he had to have a position in NFK.

Asked what happened with the income he received from selling the share in Rusal, Shvidler said that he partially used it to buy soccer players for clubs.

The court was presented with a skeleton agreement, signed among others by Shvidler. The agreement is dated 10 February 2000 and relates to the acquisition of the aluminium assets by Abramovich. Later on the assets were merged with the rest of Deripaska’s aluminum empire. Shvidler said that although in the agreement his name appears along with other purchasers, Abramovich and Patarkatsishvili, he signed the agreement only because he was a negotiator. “If I had not signed it, it would have looked like suspicious,” he said. He also explained why he had signed a merger agreement with Oleg Deripaska. Shvidler said that in fact there were only two parties in the deal, Abramovich and Deripaska.

Shvidler also told the court of the meeting of Deripaska with Patarkatsishvili, Abramovich and Berezovsky, which took place at Dorchester hotel on 13 March 2000. Shvidler said that this meeting was not to discuss the merger of aluminum assets. “I know that it is not good to joke in such manner but if Deripaska had thought that he had had a meeting with Rusal partners, he would have had a stroke!” Shvidler said, most probably referring to Berezovsky.

Berezovsky’s layer failed to make Shvidler show that his client owned a share in Sibneft. However it emerged from Shvidler’s testimony that he had been just a manager, not a business partner of Abramovich. “I have received the salary only. For 5 or 6 years Abramovich paid for my way of life, as he did for that of other managers. He paid for my holidays and cruises. In 1998 he gave me and my wife a house as a gift”


General Khorev saw nothing criminal


Moscow police investigators have questioned Andrey Khorev, former first deputy head of the Department of Economic Security (DES), on charges of illegal possession of a Lefaucheux revolver that was found in a luxury apartment and was a gift to his father by a person involved in cases of bribery. The General argues that the gun can not be used for criminal purposes since it is a collectible antique gun.

Police department of the Central District of Moscow has held a questioning of Andrey Khorev, the dismissed Major-General of the Ministry of the Interior. Police investigators instituted a criminal case under Art. 222 of the Criminal Code (illegal possession of weapons) due to the fact that in the apartment number 31 in the elite residential complex Dom na Smolenskaya Embankment on Maly Novopeskovsky Pereulok they found an unregistered Lefaucheux gun manufactured in 1854 and four pin-fire cartridges. This apartment is a gift to the General's father, the military academy instructor Victor Khorev, by Anastasia Kagan, the wife of Maksim Kagan, a former Interior Ministry official who was involved in a high-profile case of extortion and bribery. The apartment has not been registered as property of Khorev, Sr., and is used by his son by proxy from Anastasia Kagan. It was his data that the police found in the visitor's book of the residential complex. Inside the apartment the police found only property belonging to the General.

According to the Russian Mafia website (rumafia.com), during the interrogation Major-General said he saw nothing criminal in the fact that his father had been presented an elite apartment. According to him, Anastasia Kagan thanked his father, who had helped her to defend her Ph.D. research and became her mentor in her work with securities. It is this version that was earlier voiced by Maksim Kagan, who is now wanted. However, it is reported that in 2008-2010 Kagan earned a total of about 20 million rubles. After paying taxes he could not have enough funds left to purchase the apartment the market value of which was over $ 2 million. When it was given to the Khorevs, the apartment had been altered and redecorated.

Sources say that Andrey Khorev asked to consider the found revolver not as weapons but as antiques. Ostensibly the revolver can not even be used to shoot, otherwise it may fall apart. He also said he did not consider the discovery of the gun to be grounds for criminal prosecution. Investigator did not bring forward any charges against the General.





In October 2011 the price of Saint-Petersburg bank shares rose by a record 40% prompted by negotiations around the possible purchase by businessman Yuri Kovalchuk, who is among people closest to the future president Vladimir Putin. This is not the only major achievement of the bank’s management. Rumafia correspondents revealed that bank’s executives were behind the transfer of Oleg Pipchenkov, an investigator with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (RF IC), from St. Petersburg. Pipchenkov led the investigation of high-profile cases and it was him who brought about the imprisonment of Vladimir Barsukov, "shadow governor" of St. Petersburg.

Until recently Oleg Pipchenkov was in a special position in the IC and in fact was a direct subordinate of Aleksandr Bastrykin, RF IC head. Bastrykin did not give him much personal attention. But he really liked how Pipchenkov dealt with incarceration, which was exactly what the Russian government ruling tandem required from Bastrykin. And it is especially so because St. Petersburg is a native city for both Putin and Medvedev. In this city Pipchenkov exercised his powers in full.

“He is a real watchdog, in a good sense of the word,” told our source in the intelligence services. “You let him loose and point a target, and he gets them all. In our case, Oleg sent to jail all persons involved in high profile cases, regardless of whether they were guilty or not and if so, to what extent. They were all offered to cooperate with the investigation. And only then officers began to really look at who should face charges and who should not.”

Bastrykin was glad to see authorities send to jail scores of defendants in cases connected to Barsukov, murders, or raider attacks (like the one on Frunzensky Fruit and Vegetable Warehouse when among those sent by Pipchenkov to the detention facility there were even several officers of St. Petersburg UBOPs, that is, directorates for organized crime counteraction), department stores, and cafes. After all, it was the IC that was mentioned in relation to bringing order to the city.

Pipchenkov understood what support he had and so he disregarded everyone in the IC only with the two exceptions made for the two leaders, Bastrykin and his deputy, Vasily Piskaryov. He despised all other agency staff and could openly care less for what they told him. For example, he consistently told Dovgy and Markelov, former chiefs of the Main Investigative Department of the IC, and Shchukin, the current one, to mind their own business. This lasted until Pipchenkov jumped over his head and got involved in an issue that would do no good for Bastrykin, but that could bring many troubles.

When investigating the cause of Frunzensky Fruit and Vegetable Warehouse takeover, Pipchenkov began to probe into the activities of Vladislav Piotrovsky, the then acting chief of St. Petersburg and regional police, who enjoyed the support of Governor Valentina Matvienko, but was dismissed from the Ministry of the Interior in summer 2011. The takeover was incriminated to St. Petersburg UBOP head Vladimir Sych and kingpin Mikhail Sliozberg nicknamed Misha Kupchinsky. Pipchenkov began to investigate the activities of Kupchinsky in detail and found that in the early 2000s the kingpin worked closely with Saint-Petersburg Bank.

In particular, he participated in "custom" hostile takeovers of a number of entities. For instance, he was involved in the raider takeover in the result of which the bank got control over Arsenal JSC. Pipchenkov's investigation team looked closely into the circumstances of Arsenal takeover. That was when the first sign of the future transfer came about. In January 2010, on suspicion of taking bribes, police arrested a Pipchenkov’s group investigator, Andrey Grivtsov. He was immediately asked to testify against his boss. Bastrykin preferred to turn a blind eye on this and gave the go-ahead to investigate the case against Grivtsov. The case was assigned to the IC in the CFD, which is headed by Dmitry Zagorodnev. Pipchenkov, who is not exactly careful about what he says, immediately accused Zagorodnev of working for the criminal world, calling him names using swear words. Since then Pipchenkov and Zagorordnev would not even say hello to each other.

Despite the loss of a team member, Pipchenkov’s group continued its inquiry into Arsenal. In autumn 2010 a number of those involved in the case, including businessman Oleg Rifert, agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Police arrested Mikhail Sapego, board chairman of the company and a Saint-Petersburg bank protégé. The financial institution found itself in a troublesome situation. But the bank owners, including its leader Aleksandr Saveliev, have connections with Valentina Matvienko, who is now Federation Council chairman, and with a number of federal officials.

As a result, this spring Pipchenkov saw the second sign when Oleg Rifert refused to cooperate and claimed to have allocated money for treatment of investigator Buev and purchase of the car that is used by Pipchenkov. Bastrykin, head of Russia's Investigative Committee, unexpectedly decided to probe into this statement and for a time suspended Pipchenkov and Buev from work. By the time they returned, the fate of the RF IC head’s "personal inspector" was sealed.

According to Rumafia sources in intelligence agencies, Aleksandr Bastrykin is a very suspicious person. When he was offered to head the State Ministry of the Interior in the Central Federal District, Bastrykin put together a team of St. Petersburg officials. Many of them held good positions and did not want to go to Moscow. But Aleksandr was able to convince them. First of all, by promising that work at the State Ministry of the Interior in the CFD can be considered temporary and then after it they would be transferred to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, that was about to be established at the moment.

“Among those who went to the capital with Bastrykin there were Dovgy and Schneider. They began to insinuate that some staff members were pursuing their personal goals, that someone said something against Bastrykin.” As a result, when Bastrykin was appointed chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, he took there only Dovgy, who became head of IC under the prosecutor’s office Main Investigative Department, and Schneide, who became assistant to head of IC under the prosecutor’s office. As for about a dozen people from his original team, Bastrykin did not bother to fulfill his promises.

Then Aleksandr Bastrykin had another insinuator, Vladimir Maksimenkov, who was seconded from the FSB. He spoke of a conspiracy, which Dovgy was allegedly preparing to release Kumarin from custody. And also, that Dovgy allegedly planned to take Bastrykin’s place. As a result of these intrigues Dovgy was not only fired from his job, but also found himself behind bars. Then Bastrykin was told similar things about Maksimenkov. And he too was forced to leave the Investigation Committee. A similar fate was awaiting Bastrykin’s "personal inspector" Oleg Pipchenkov.

According to our source in the security services, Bastrykin was consistently told that in the case of Arsenal Pipchenkov was not acting as the head of RF IC watchdog, but was promoting interests of certain people who were aiming at not only hurting the bank, but also at spoiling relations between Aleksandr Bastrykin and businessmen linked to Putin. By that time Yuri Kovalchuk, a friend of Putin and the owner of major Russia media assets and of another big bank, Russia, expressed his interested in buying the bank. As a result, managers and owners of the bank skillfully used their connections to deprive Pipchenkov of support. Aleksandr Bastrykin first began to doubt his investigator, and then, as was in the case with Dovgy, was disappointed in him.

Aleksandr Bastrykin was harsh about removing Pipchenkov from St. Petersburg. He had it arranged as a shift in staffing in connection with the reform of the RF IC. In accordance with the reform, investigators of the Investigative Department should strengthen federal districts department. As a result, most of the investigators were transferred from Pipchenkov’s second Main Investigative Directorate division to the third. When Pipchenkov was left with only two subordinates, Nikolai Shalaev and Andrey Bazhutov, it was announced that the entire second division was transferred from St. Petersburg department to the RF IC in the Central Federal District, that same unit headed by Zagorodnev, a personal enemy of Pipchenkov. Now the former "private investigator" of Bastrykin is investigating just one minor case.

As for the investigation concerning Arsenal takeover, it was transferred to the North-West Department of Investigation of the Investigative Committee of Russia, where it is slowly dying, and most definitely will soon be closed.

Thomas Petrov, Rumafia.com

суббота, 12 ноября 2011 г.

Bykov testified in a crime boss trial


The Court of the Krasnoyarsk Region heard yesterday Anatoly Bykov, former head of the KrAZ (Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Plant), now deputy of the regional legislature. Bykov testified as a witness of defence in a trial of Vladimir Tatarenkov (aka Tatarin), a crime boss accused of murdering 3 people. Bykov said that he knew the defendant well and had doubts about him being guilty.

Court hearings began later than scheduled, due to icy road conditions, which impeded the transfer of the defendant to the court. While waiting Anatoly Bykov was talking to the lawyers and strolling through the corridors of the court building. Bykov had to attend the session of the regional legislature and was allowed to testify before the other witness.

The lawyers of Tatarenkov called Anatoly Bykov in his defence. According to the investigators, Bykov’s car was destroyed by explosion in 1994. Bykov survived the attempt on his life, but failed assassination triggered murder of Aleksandr Naumov and Kirill Voitenko, “eliminated” at Tatarenkov’s order. Bykov did not confirm this version. He said to the judge that he had never talked to Tatarenkov about the assassination, neither had his friends. The lawyer asked Bykov whether he had ordered a murder of someone related to the assassination. Bykov answered in the negative and added that he did not suspect anyone.

Bykov said that he had met Tatarenkov at the beginning of the 1990s through people with whom he had played sports. He confirmed his acquaintance with murdered Naumov, saying he knew he had been a business owner. Bykov said he had never met Kirill Voitenko.

Bykov said he had doubts about the accusation raised at Tatarenkov. “He is on trial, because he managed to survive. In the 90s a lot of people pointed at Bykov and Tatarenkov, but now in London, as you can see, they testify about what really happened in the region and in Russia and who stood behind that process,” he said referring to Boris Berezovsky’s $5.5 billion suit against Abramovich, heard by London High Court.

Vladimir Tatarenkov is accused of organising criminal group and committing a number of murders in 1994. He took part in the gangster war for aluminium assets in the Krasnoyarsk region and Khakassia, the investigators believe. Tatarenkov was arrested in Germany over illegal carrying of weapons, and then he was extradited in Russia. He is accused of the crimes under Article 209.1 and 102 of Russia’s Criminal Code (“gangsterism” and “murder in socially perilous way”). According to the investigators, he organised killing of three people: crime boss Vladimir Mustafin and businessmen Aleksandr Naumov and Kirill Voitenko.


Back from London Luzhkov loses two defamation lawsuits


The Court of Moscow’s Savelovsky district on Wednesday rejected a libel suit by former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov against LDPR partly leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The same day Luzhkov lost another defamation suit, now against Life News publication. The verdicts coincided with Luzhkov’s return to Russia from lengthy stay abroad and with his statements that he was ready to answer prosecutors’ questions concerning ongoing probe into troubled Bank of Moscow.

Luzhkov filed a lawsuit against Zhirinovsky for his allegations of rampant corruption in the office of the mayor made on 20 April 2010 during the State Duma session when prime minister Vladimir Putin delivered his annual report. Zhirinovsky said that Luzhkov’s office was a “Moscow mob”, and that he sold most lucrative chunks of municipal property to foreigners, “preparing his retreat”, and puts pressure on the judges. Zhirinovsky also said that only the companies patronized by the mayor could win municipal contracts. The LDPR leader handed a folder with allegedly incriminating documents to Putin. The former mayor demanded that Zhirinovsky paid 3 million roubles ($100,000) and apologised for his allegations.

Zhirinovsky said at the trial that he would not renounce his accusations. He said that during Luzhkov’s term as the mayor the problems accumulated in Moscow. The year was not enough for Sergei Sobyanin, new Moscow mayor, to fix them. Aleksei Melnikov, the former mayor’s representative, said that the politicians should be criticized but the assessment of their action should be objective and sensible. He added that Zhirinovsky’s statements were “beyond the pale” and tarnished the reputation of Luzhkov.

Judge Tatyana Adamova ruled in favour of Zhirinovsky. Earlier the same court upheld Luzhkov’s suit against Zhirinovsky and ordered him to pay 500,000 roubles ($16,000), but the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.

The other case was heard in Moscow City Court. Moscow’s former mayor was seeking compensation from Life News on-line publication for the article claiming Luzhkov had extorted $750 million bribe from president of Bank of Moscow Andrei Borodin. On 3 August 2011 Savelovsky Court judge Tatyana Adamova ruled that the article contained not facts, but the assumptions and dismissed the libel court. On Wednesday Moscow City Court upheld this verdict.

Both trials took place the day Luzhkov arrived in Moscow after a long stay abroad. The interior ministry investigative department summoned Luzhkov for questioning in a corruption inquiry regarding the Bank of Moscow. The investigators launched an inquiry into a deal under which the bank lent 13 billion roubles ($413 million) to murky real estate firm, Prime Estate. The ministry said that Luzhkov would be put on the international wanted list if he did not come to questioning.

On 28 September 2010 president Dmitry Medvedev dismissed Luzhkov over “loss of trust” in him. A year later Sergei Naryshkin said that Luzhkov had been sacked for “over-the-top” corruption and poor city management. The former mayor has filed a lawsuit against Naryshkin and seeks 1 million roubles ($33,000) as compensation. He said that the authorities pushed at him by summoning him in Moscow. Luzhkov will be questioned on 15 November.

Until recently Luzhkov had reputation of a person who never loses lawsuits. The most peculiar case he won was a lawsuit against marginal politician and controversial writer Eduard Limonov. Luzhkov sued him for the statements claiming Luzhkov “controlled” courts.


четверг, 10 ноября 2011 г.

Bout in shackles


After the verdict of guilty, detention conditions of Viktor Bout, a Russian businessman who is in a New York prison, significantly deteriorated, reports ITAR-TASS, citing Aleksandr Otchaynov, Russian vice-consul in New York.

“The businessman was brought to the today’s consular visit in shackles, two pairs of handcuffs, and was escorted by three security guards. He is still in solitary confinement, any contact is forbidden. Bout is guarded by specially trained officers who are not allowed to speak to him,” said the diplomat.

Now, according to Otchaynov, Bout is considered “an extremely dangerous prisoner”. Therefore, he is not allowed in the prison yard, he never goes out of the cell for a walk.

According to Aleksandr Otchaynov, Bout continues to practice sports by running around the cell for at least two hours a day and doing physical exercises. He is allowed to read books in English; however, he often cannot use his right to make one call per month because of “an out-of-order telephone or absence of required special guards.”

When speaking about the psychological state of the businessman, the diplomat said that “Victor Bout is stout hearted, he is ready to fight, and is counting on the support of Russia.”

In addition, Otchaynov pointed out that “the verdict was not unexpected for the businessman”. “The outcome was a foregone conclusion, but the team of lawyers could show the inconsistency of the case. Everything was based on fiction rather than facts”, Otchaynov cites Bout.

The businessman’s lawyers intend to appeal against the verdict of guilty by 2 December. In addition, Bout’s defender Albert Dayan intends to bring the matter before the judge concerning the impartiality of the jury in connection with the interview given by Hizar Hobson to The New York Times, in which she mentiones the film Lord of War, based on Merchant of Death, the book by Douglas Farah.

Hobson did not specify exactly when she watched the film. At the same time she pointed out that she “saw this terrible movie with Nicolas Cage, but had no idea that it had anything to do with Victor Bout.”

On these grounds Bout’s lawyers suspect the jury of prejudice against the Russian businessman and perhaps on this basis will try to challenge the verdict.

The reason why a Russian citizen Viktor Bout, arrested in March 2008 in Thailand and extradited in November 2010 to the United States, was tried in New York is the fact that he was accused, among other things, of “a criminal conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals.”

The prosecutor alleged that Bout agreed to supply weapons to “international terrorist organizations, knowing that its purpose was to murder U.S. citizens and U.S. officials in Colombia.”

According to the prosecution, Bout and his accomplice, a British national Andrew Smulian, were going to sell the weapon to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), knowing about the terrorist nature of the group and that the weapon was intended to kill American pilots in Colombia.

Defense tried to convince jurors that the businessman did not intend to kill Americans and sell weapons to the FARC.

According to attorney Albert Dayan, the sole purpose of the businessman’s trip to Bangkok in March 2008 for a meeting with representatives of pseudo-FARC, which in reality turned out to be U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers, was a deal to sell two of cargo aircrafts he had.

The conviction is expected to be handed down on 8 February 2012.


Glazyev will lose his job in the EurAsEC


Executive secretary of the Customs Union (KTS) Sergei Glazyev may lose his job at the organization in July 2012. He has not been offered to join the Eurasian Economic Commission as the representative of the Russian Federation. The KTS officials now face assessment of their performance in a view of upcoming reform of the KTS. Glazyev is blamed for “the absence of ideological standpoint and problems in managing the organization”. The officials from the RF ministries will execute his duties, according to the sources.

The governments of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) look set to form new governing bodies for the EurAsEC, Kommersant reported. Current secretariat of the KTS is not considered as a base for forming the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the organ conceived to have the same functions as the European Commission in the EU, according to the reports. Andrei Slepnev, deputy minister of economy, told Kommersant that the KTS secretariat would function side by side with the EEC, which was a draft variant of the reform. All officials of the KTS who pass the assessment will get jobs in the EEC or will be given preferences. Slepnev added that the problem was that the KTS secretariat deals mainly with paperwork, whereas “the EEC will have ideological function”.

Ideologists for the EEC could be looked for in the RF ministries, Slepnev said.

An unnamed source close to the KTS secretariat said that Sergei Glazyev had not received a job offer in the EEC yet. Neither Glazyev, nor the KTS were unavailable for comments. A source in the Russian government told Kommersant that each member of the KTS - Russia, Belorus and Kazakhstan - will nominate their candidates. The candidates from the Russian side have not been nominated yet. “Most probably the Russian Federation will nominate trade minister Viktor Khristenko and two other candidates. The chances of Sergei Glazyev are very low indeed,” the source told Kommersant.

After the prime ministers of EuroAsEC signed the treaty on the establishment of the EEC in October 2011, the tensions grew over the head of the KTS. According to the information of Kommersant, Sergei Glazyev considered the document “raw” and did everything to hinder its signing. The document disappeared shortly before the beginning of the meeting of the prime ministers, and it was reprinted and put in the folders in the course of the meeting at the request of the delegations. According to the official version, it was a law level of the meeting organization that led to the incident. A member of the Russian delegation described Sergei Glazyev’s actions as sabotage and the attempt to torpedo the negotiations. Glazyev has been strongly against further integration of the former Soviet republics and the reform of the KTS in recent months.

Other members of the KTS say about the difference of opinions. They believe that the EEC and the KTS will cooperate with each other and consider the EEC, not the KTS, as a temporary body. “Frankly speaking the KTS secretariat in the present form can continue working effectively on drafting a legal basis for EurAsEC Common Economic Space. The EEC is aimed at Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and maybe Ukraine, so that it can alleviate their joining to the KTS,” a source said.

The outcome of the struggle for the post of the head of the EEC will be clear in the next week. The leaders of Russia, Belorus and Kazakhstan in the middle of November will sign another treaty on the EEC. The structure of the EEC will have become clear by that time. Trade minister Viktor Khristenko, first vice-president Igor Shuvalov and their counterparts in Belorus and Kazakhstan, currently discusses the structure of the future commission. The KTS does not take part in this work. Sergei Glazyev may be nominated from either Kazakhstan or Belorus. Earlier Glazyev praised the way the government of Belorus handled with the crisis. His political standpoint is more close to that of president of Belorus Aleksandr Lukoshenko than to the RF government.




The former billionaire Sergei Polonsky has a new patron. That person is Pavel Pyatnitsky, a man of very unusual biography. He suffers from organic brain damage and a number of nervous disorders. In spite of this, Pavel for years headed Liberal Democratic Party youth wing, participated in nationalistic demonstrations called Russkiy marsh (Russian for “Russian march”), and urged to drive guest workers from Moscow. Then, the ardent nationalist selflessly defended people from the Caucasus from law enforcement agencies. And after Russians and Caucasians Pyatnitsky became patron of Sergei Polonsky. Now there is no doubt that the former businessman is well-protected.


Forgotten Birthday

Pavel Igorevich Pyatnitsky was born on 3 March 1984 in the city of Barabinsk in Novosibirsk region. However, he stubbornly hides this fact for some reason. Who knows what past sins he is trying to hide, but in all the official biographies, he claims to be a couple of years older and to have been born on 3 February 1982. It should be noted that Pavel many times on purpose stated false information in his biography.

When in 2003 the Ministry of Defense held a massive program of awarding military ranks to members of various political movements more or less linked to the military, Pyatnitsky wormed his way into those given a rank. In fact, he had never been in the army. But his supervisors at Novosibirsk branch of the Liberal Democratic Party were Colonel Evgeny Loginov and Colonel Peter Ilyin. It was they who interceded so that their assistant Pasha was put on the rank-giving lists of the ministry. He was awarded the rank of lieutenant. Pyatnitsky had a photo session in military uniform, and at first it was these pictures he preferred to attach to the biography. But then he quickly rewrote his biography and began calling himself a lieutenant of Justice.

Apparently, Pyatnitsky decided to introduce the change once he got a diploma of Tomsk Institute of Economics and Law, a non-state higher education institution. This peculiar institution offers diplomas via the Internet for $ 700-800. But this was not enough for Pavel. From a certain time, he began to claim having a Ph.D. in philosophical sciences and being a professor of the Academy of Security, Defense and Law Enforcement (ABOP). For years ABOP was notorious for granting ranks and awards for a fee.

This lasted until General Prosecutor's Office intervened in the activities of the Academy. After that Pavel quickly removed all the ABOP-granted titles from his biography.

But instead he added other data. To increase his political weight, he claimed to have served in Novosibirsk region government. In reality Pavel was a member of a regional project called “Youth Parliament. Pyatnitsky twice nominated himself for presidency over this "parliament", but other young members did not approve of his candidacy. It is worth noting that in his hometown many people did not like Pavel. Everyone thought him to be a boor. Therefore, his career started out with difficulty.

Supposedly, he wrote articles for local media, but only as a freelance reporter. But then his soldier-like behavior attracted Colonel Loginov, an ultranationalist who had quite a liking to spirit drinks. In the late 1990s - early 2000s Loginov headed Novosibirsk Division of the Liberal Democratic Party. The young man joined the party and became the colonel’s assistant.

In 1995 Loginov was elected to the Duma as a LDPR member. In 1999 he lost, but in 2002 he received a mandate to replace another member for some time. He took the assistant to Moscow. Almost immediately Pyatnitsky drew everyone’s attention. During a Duma session in June 2003 he broke out in violence and in front of other members started yelling and hitting the wall with his fists. One of the blows fell on the fire alarm button, which set off a loud alarm. Firefighters and FSO officers turned up immediately. The latter had to calm Pavel down.

However, such delirium tremens are not unusual for Pyatnitsky. A month before the incident in the State Duma he had a bout of drinking. On 17 May 2003 he was hospitalized with a typical set of symptoms for a person developing alcoholism including dehydration, alcohol poisoning, and hypovolemia. The latter means reduced blood volume accompanying alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Such events accompanied the entire political career of Pyatnitsky. He became a fully-fledged alcoholic, with severe mental disorders. According to the ambulance service centre, on 3 March 2006 Pyatnitsky celebrated his real birthday (as opposed the one he states in his biography) in the student dormitory at Moscow State Pedagogical University on Prospekt Vernadskogo. Doctors had to be called on the very first day of partying. Moreover, according to medical data, the fit was provoked by Pavel using strong medications. As a result Pyatnitsky was diagnosed with acute hypotension. This condition occurs in acute heart failure and severe poisoning from alcohol, drugs, or particularly fast-and short-range medicines. The doctors injected the young man the medicines he needed to recover, and he refused to go to hospital.

Apparently, the fun continued afterwards. It was still going on 14 March when the ambulance was again called for Pyatnitsky to the same dorm room. This time the doctors not only diagnosed Pavel, but also listed all his conditions. The list was impressive and included neurological disorders, tremor, encephalopathy, and hydrocephalus.


Definitions from a medical dictionary:

Encephalopathy (Enképhalos - the brain and páthos - suffering, disease) is a nonspecific term describing a syndrome affecting the brain. Encephalopathy is characterized by extreme irritability and unmotivated aggression.

Alcoholic encephalopathy is a group of alcoholic psychosis developing in chronic alcoholism. It is characterized by a combination of mental disorders with systemic medical and neurological conditions that are often prevalent in the clinical picture. Chronic alcoholism is an indispensable background for the development of all forms of alcoholic encephalopathies.

There is no way to tell whether encephalopathy and hydrocephalus developed in Pavel when he was a child or when he became an alcoholic, which does happen.



Date (Aktual) ..... 03 March 06

Code .............. 8916

Phone number .......... 8121850

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Patronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 22

Administrative district .......... WEST

Municipal district ............ Troparevo-Nikulino

Street ............ Prospekt Vernadskogo

House No.............. 88

Building ........... 2

Apartment ......... 319

Other information ... MPGU STUDENT DORMITORY, 4th floor, ROOM 319 \ 8-916-812-18-50

Hospitalization ........ no

Info1 ............ Headache *.

Info2 ............ Hypotension INCLUDING RESULTING from


Info4…….. use of medication


Date (Aktual) ..... 14 March 06

Code .............. 8916

Phone .......... 8121850

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Pantronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 23

Administrative district .......... WEST

Municipal district ............ Troparevo-Nikulino

Street ............ Prospekt Vernadskogo

House No.............. 88

Building ........... 2

Apartment ......... 319

Other information ... MPGU STUDENT DORMITORY, 4th floor, ROOM 319 \ 8-916-812-18-50

Hospitalization ........ no

Info1 ............ Headache *.

Info2 ............ Other  NERVOUS conditions, encephalopathy, tremors,

Info3 ............ GIDROTSEFA

Info4 ............ Ischia


The shyest blogger

As for the political career of Pyatnitsky, in 2003 he was noticed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who has always sympathized with active young people. Sources in the party say that it happened after September 2003 when Pavel went with the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and a group of active party members on a cruise along the Volga River on the ship Aleksey Vatchenko. On the cruise there were constant drunken parties, orgies, and even firing a machine gun.

Encouraged by such support, in Moscow Pavel immediately declared himself an extreme nationalist. He participated in the organization of a Russian march, during which he held a banner saying "We always defend Russians" (see photo). Meanwhile, he met with another assistant of Loginov, Nikolai Kuryanovich. The two lost touch after Kuryanovich joined DPNI, Movement Against Illegal Immigration. As for Evgeny Valyaev, the leader of skinhead organization, Pyatnitsky has friendly relations with the man to this day. Valyaev is one of the leaders of Russian Obraz, linked to Nikita Tikhonov and Evgeniya Khasis, convicted for the murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.

Moving up the party ladder, in 2005 Pavel became an adviser to Zhirinovsky on youth policy issues, and later he was head of the LDPR leader reception and head of the Party Youth Centre. The climax of his career was getting into the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior. “Pyatnitsky was on the board completely by accident”, said a source at the Interior Ministry. “Initially, there was no plan for the Council to include representatives of political parties, but at the last moment it was decided to include them. Parties were asked to urgently send a member in and they urgently sent minor clerks, “senior aides to junior janitors”. The United Russia sent Nikita Ivanov, adviser to the presidium secretary; and LDPR sent Pyatnitsky. We made sure that he had no criminal record and made him a Council board member. We did not check members for mental sanity. It turns out, we should have.”

Having become a police consultant, Pavel abruptly forgot his nationalist beliefs. He began to actively help people from the Caucasus living in Moscow. If some of them were arrested for some offense, Pyatnitsky, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior, came to the police station here in with a "check" and monitored the conditions in which the arrested Caucasians were placed. Then, mysteriously such Moscow visitors were freed. By the way, among Pavel’s new friends there was Rasul Mirzaev, world champion in MMA. When he was arrested for the murder of a 19-year old student Ivan Agafonov, Pavel Pyatnitsky made several statements defending the athlete, claiming to be his close friend.

Pavel also took up solving minor problems that his clients had with the police. He made friends with law enforcement agencies employees. However, usually they were quite low-ranking officials, personnel of a department.

Along the way, Pyatnitsky was engaged in other social activities. Zhirinovsky is often invited to various events and concerts of Russian chanson singers (Russian chanson is a musical genre covering a range of songs based on the themes of the urban underclass and often criminal underworld). In order not to hurt the artists, he sent Pasha as a representative of the Liberal Democratic Party. As a result, he became a permanent member of drunken parties organized by little-known chanson performers in the club Butyrka (see photo). Group photos, in which drunken member of the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior is with Serega Volokolamsky, Gena Vyazemsky, and other such singers, are quite ridiculous. Inspired by the romance of the criminal world, the young man even began to write poems about homeless people and convicts.

According to a source in the Liberal Democratic Party, Pavel gladly went as the representative of Zhirinovsky to get-togethers at a higher level attended by officials and businessmen. It was at one of such gatherings, says our source, that Pyatnitsky met Sergei Polonsky. “Pasha is a person who can easily make his way into any society he pleases”, our Liberal Democratic Party source says. “At first, he employed all means to become close to Zhirinovsky, kissing his ass and trying to please him in all ways. Then in a similar way he began to butter up businessmen in the hope to get something beneficial from them. Some, including Polonsky, liked such behavior.”

Pyatnitsky actively involved in blogosphere. First, he searched through all forums for negative references about Zhirinovsky and immediately attacked the authors with curses and promises to “kick their ass”. Then Pavel registered several blogging accounts on LiveJournal, and continued to threaten opponents, which resulted into several scandals.

In summer 2009 the State Duma held a meeting of Minsk universities students with Vladimir Zhirinovsky. One of the participants engaged in a dialogue with the Liberal Democratic Party leader concerning NATO as a threat to Russia. Pyatnitsky was outraged. After the event, he promised “to kick the student’s ass”. The young man wrote about this in his blog (http://msk-2009.livejournal.com/13689.html). Pyatnitsky immediately burst out in more specific threats. He promised to get the student's passport data stated when obtaining a pass to the State Duma, to find him and to solve the issue face to face. Many other LJ users stood up to protect the blogger and began writing derogatory comments to Pyatnitsky. He snapped back with curse words and promised to urinate on enemies (http://msk-2009.livejournal.com/13689.html?thread=47225).

Posts hit the top lists of LJ. The scandal was gaining momentum. And then Pyatnitsky suddenly deleted all his posts and announced that it had been someone who had hacked his computer who wrote all those angry messages.

A similar thing happened in the conflict with Igor Drandin, vice-president of the Democratic Choice NGO. He had an argument with Pyatnitsky on air on RSN over service vehicle flashers. Pavel defends such attributes of the authorities. Then Drandin told the media about threats in his address, expressed in his blog by Pyatnitsky, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior. The news quickly spread through the news agencies, and Pavel urgently deleted his posts. The same happened to his posts stating that only a chav could be against the flashers (http://yeenzo.livejournal.com/37625.html). This statement outraged many Blue buckets movement participants who oppose to public servants using emergency flashers (http://sineevedro.ru/tag/%d0%9f%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%b5%d0%bb-%d0%9f%d1%8f%d1%82%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%ba%d0%b8%d0%b9/).

 Pyatnitsky also deleted his praising post about the dead thief in law Yaponchik. It was not very proper for a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior to turn a dangerous gangster into an icon.

According to the source in the Liberal Democratic Party, carried away by partying and self-PR, Pyatnitsky almost forgot about the Party's cause. “Despite the seeming recklessness, Zhirinovsky is very demanding leader”, said our source. “Once someone begins to openly ignore his duties, he is instantly expelled regardless of any merit. Recently, among those fired for similar neglect of duty was the spokesperson of Zhirinovsky, of his son Igor Lebedev, and Pyatnitsky, who in the party was nicknamed Pyatnitsa. When he headed the youth wing of the Liberal Democratic Party, it was falling into decay day by day”.  It was a shock for Pavel. After all, he expected to be on the election list of the party, rather than lose the job. Even his blog on LJ was called newdeputat. Pyantitsky made an attempt to argue with the decision of Zhirinovsky, but that only led to the guard not letting him in to the last party congress.


President's Executive Office serves passport regime violators

After Pyatnitsky’s expulsion from the Liberal Democratic Party, it became clear that Pavel also had to leave the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior. And that meant loosing his major income source. Pyatnitsky decided he did not want to leave quietly. In September 2011 he appeared with a check to the police station at Kitay-gorod, a business district of Moscow, and immediately took interest in two detainees. The two were Sahratula Abakarov, a 21-year-old resident of Dagestan, and Murat Gergov, a 22-year-old visitor from Kabardino-Balkaria. A policeman slightly cut the official down to size. The next day Pyatnitsky issued a media statement that he, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Interior, was boldly kicked out of the station and threatened with a police gun. There was an inquiry into the matter.

“It showed that Abakarov and Gergiev had been repeatedly detained for violation of passport regulations, and the last time they were taken to the police on suspicion of theft”, source in the Interior Ministry said. “There were no legitimate grounds to set them free. Moreover, police officers demonstrated proper behavior when talking to Pyatnitsky. He was just infuriated that he failed to "solve the problem" of the two Caucasians. He began to demand that the police presented documents that he had no right to inspect as a member of the Public Council.” Pyatnitsky was not on the new list of the Council members, announced in early October 2011.

This time he tried to join the Council as an advisor to Mikhaill Dvorkovich, the president of the Association of Entrepreneurs Novoe Delo. Pyatnitsky was his advisor on relations with the security forces and government agencies. According to the source in the Liberal Democratic Party, as soon as Pavel was expelled from all his posts in the party, he addressed for help Sergei Polonsky, whom he actively supported in the blogosphere and as the Council member. Sergei Yurievich helped Pyatnitsky to get a post with his friend Mikhail, brother of Arkady Dvorkovich, presidential aide on Economic Affairs.

Pavel Pyatnitsky is scrupulous in serving the former businessman, whose main business now is to escape from the defrauded investors. On 19 October he headed a group of Master C private security agency employees who broke into the territory of the residential complex Mirax Park, where homeowners, perturbed by the incompetence and frauds of Polonsky’s entities, had established a homeowner association and signed a contract with Delta Force VV Security Company. Trying to use as supporting point his ID of a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of the Interior, which at that moment was null and void, Pyatnitsky threatened the hired guards with a gun, forcing them to leave the complex and seeking to return Mirax Park under control of Polonsky’s management company. The same had happened in other residential complexes unfinished by Mirax now carrying the name of Nazvanie.net.

Sergei Polonsky's reputation and even more so Pavel Pyatnitsky’s one are long established. They are so stable that it is unlikely that anything can spoil them. This cannot be said about the reputation of the Dvorkovich brothers. Especially Arkady, who by definition is a public figure. A video showing the events on 23 September in Kutuzovskaya Mile is notorious on World Wide Web. The video shows Polonsky grab the cell phone Michael Dvorkovich was talking on and in a totally disrespectful manner, as if to a subordinate, yell into the phone "Arqash [short for Arkady], can you come here, f ** *ing shit!? ". After these pictures in Moscow it is hard to be surprised by events in St. Petersburg, when the same brother of presidential aide calls out via Twitter to the Governor Georgy Poltavchenko saying that "a friend has spent a night at the police station for crossing a road against the red light!" It is outrageous, who would have thought that it was possible in Russia and in St. Petersburg. But whom does the man exactly mean?

The detainee was Nikita Zhuravlev. In the evening of 2 November he and a friend of his crossed Sadovaya Street against the red light. They were caught red-handed by road police, who stopped them and asked to produce their passports. Zhuravlev and his friend responded in swearing. The argument resulted in their arrest and the two were taken to the Police Station no. 2 of Admiralteysky Police Department.

How often do such situations draw attention of the brothers of presidential aides? To be honest, not very often. But Nikita Zhuravlev was taken care of by Pavel Pyatnitsky. The reason is as simple as that: Zhuravlev and Pyatnitsky are advisers to Mikhail Dvorkovich on Novoe Delo and aides to Sergei Polonsky. So it is not an ordinary case, police lawlessness here is outrageous. It was not a commoner who had crossed the road against the red light ..

The Caucasians, whom Pavel Pyatnitsky freed thanks to being a member of the Public Council of the Moscow Interior Ministry, were also no commoners. This time it was not a Caucasian who got arrested, but a colleague of the swindler, so he can be equated to the Caucasians and the right of such person will be defended at the highest level, up to the Kremlin. Pyatnitsky is used to be more equal than the others. Polonsky has strengthened his confidence. Now Mikhail Dvorkovich is doing the same using his brother, the presidential aide.


Novosibirsk Region

Pyatnitsky, Pavel Igorevich

Date of birth: 03 March 1984

Passport: 50 00 245 123, issued by Barabinsk city police department, issue date 29 September 2000

Address: 18, GORKOGO MAKSIMA Street Apt. 5, Barabinsk, Novosibirsk region, 632 336

City 1: Barabinsk

Tax identification no (TIN): 545109956106

Date of issue of TIN: 06 June 2001

Date of registration: 06 June 2001








Pyatnitsky, Pavel Igorevich

Pyatnitsky was born on 3 February 1982 in Novosibirsk region.

He graduated from the Academy of Public Administration and Tomsk University of Economics and Law. He has a law degree.

He worked as a freelance reporter in two socio-political mass media agencies in Novosibirsk region, and in 1998 won Novosibirsk regional journalists’ competition in the nomination “Best Interview”.

He has been engaged in PR since 2004. He previously worked in Novosibirsk region government.

He is co-chairman and head of Staff of Liberal Democratic Party All-Russian Youth Centre and an advisor to Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the deputy chairman of State Duma since May 2008. Pyatnitsky worked as deputy coordinator of Novosibirsk regional branch of LDPR and assistant to a State Duma deputy.

From 2002 to 2004 he was member of Novosibirsk Region Youth Parliament and a member of the Youth Parliament Council. Since January 2005 he has been advisor to Vladimir Zhirinovsky on youth policy. In February 2006 Pyatnitsky became head of V. Zhirinovsky’s reception. In October 2006 he was appointed chief of Staff of the Liberal Democratic Party all-Russia Youth Centre and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's adviser on relations with law enforcement agencies.

Since May 2008 Pyatnitsky has been co-chief of Staff of the All-Russian Youth Centre Liberal Democratic Party, advisor to the deputy chairman of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and a voting member of the district Electoral Commission No. 14.

Russia National Committee for Public Awards awarded him St. Aleksander Nevsky "For services and personal contribution to the development and strengthening of the Russian Federation" with the award of a gold medal. He was also awarded the badge "All-Russian Census - 2002", a commemorative medal “Russian State Duma 10 years (1994-2004)”, a commemorative medal 100 years anniversary of the establishment of the State Duma.”

Pyatnitsky has honourary certificates of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov "For contribution to the development of youth parliamentarism in Russia", Russian President Vladimir Putin "For active participation in the implementation of youth policy in the Russian Federation", Federal Security Service, Minister of Interior of Russia Boris Gryzlov, and Novosibirsk region Governor V.A. Tolokonsky.

Pyatnitsky has a broad range of interest among which he particularly likes psychology, philosophy, and tourism. He practices melee combat, collects symbols of Russian political parties, writes poems and lyrics.

He is married.



SMALL touches to the FOCUS portrait


On 3 July 2003 the police received a claim from Pavel Igorevich Pyatnitsky born in 1984 and registered at 27/1, Mitinskaya Street, apt. 371. Pyatnitsky is an assistant to E.YU. Loginov, State Duma Deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party. Pyatnitsky claimed that on 3 July 2003 from 6 p.m. to 6.40 p.m. from a corridor in State Duma building at 2, Georgievsky Pereulok unknown persons stole 4 boxes with copybooks for pupils, 350 items in each.

     The boxes were left unattended near the office № 531.

      Material damage caused is 3,000 rubles.





Date (Aktual) ..... 16 May 03

Phone number.......... 7518556

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Patronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 20

Administrative district .......... NORTHWEST

Municipal district ............ MITINO

Age .......... 20

Street ............ Mitinskaya street.

House No .............. 27

Building ........... A

Apartment ......... 371

Other information... CODE 371

Hospitalization ........ DISCLAIMER

Info1 ............ ABDOMINAL PAIN, vomiting, diarrhea

Info2 ............ Amebiasis

Info3 ............

Info4 ............ Monkeypox


Date (Aktual) ..... 17 May 03

Phone number .......... 7518556

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Patronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 20

Administrative district .......... NORTHWEST

Municipal district ............ MITINO

Age .......... 20

Street ............ Mitinskaya street.

House No .............. 27

Building ........... A

Apartment ......... 371

Other information ... A 371

Hospitalisation ........ YES

Info1 ............ Abdominal pain and diarrhea. Food poisoning, abdominal pain

Info2 ............ Amebiasis

Info3 ............ Hypovolemia, dehydration

Date (Aktual) ..... 03 March 06

Code .............. 8916

Phone number .......... 8121850

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Patronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 22

Administrative district .......... WEST

Municipal district ............ Troparevo-Nikulino

Street ............ Prospekt Vernadskogo

House No.............. 88

Building ........... 2

Apartment ......... 319

Other information ... MPGU STUDENT DORMITORY, 4th floor, ROOM 319 \ 8-916-812-18-50

Hospitalization ........ no

Info1 ............ Headache *.

Info2 ............ Hypotension INCLUDING RESULTING from


Info4…….. use of medication


Date (Aktual) ..... 03/14/06

Code .............. 8916

Phone number .......... 8121850

Surname .......... Pyatnitsky

Name .............. PAVEL

Pantronymic ......... IGOREVICH

Age .......... 23

Administrative district .......... WEST

Municipal district ............ Troparevo-Nikulino

Street ............ Prospekt Vernadskogo

House No.............. 88

Building ........... 2

Apartment ......... 319

Other information ... MPGU STUDENT DORMITORY, 4th floor, ROOM 319 \ 8-916-812-18-50

Hospitalization ........ no

Info1 ............ Headache *.

Info2 ............ Other  NERVOUS conditions, encephalopathy, tremors,

Info3 ............ GIDROTSEFA

Info4 ............ Ischia



Flights of 2006


Departure date: 14 December 2006


Departure Time: 00:26

Flight number: 107

Time of arrival: 22:45

Departure Airport: Moscow (Domodedovo)

Airport arrival: Novosibirsk (Tolmachevo)

Document presented: passport

Document number: 5004 453827

Name, Group, other: Pyatnitsky, PAVEL IGOREVICH


Alcoholic encephalopathy is a group of alcoholic psychosis developing in chronic alcoholism. It is characterized by a combination of mental disorders with systemic medical and neurological conditions that are often prevalent in the clinical picture. Chronic alcoholism is an indispensable background for the development of all forms of alcoholic encephalopathies. Alcohol abuse in alcoholic encephalopathy varies from 6-7 to 20 years or more. In women, alcoholic encephalopathy may develop earlier.

Alcoholic encephalopathy usually develops at the end of the second and third stages of chronic alcoholism with prolonged abuse of alcohol continuing for weeks or months. Often alcoholic encephalopathy comes as a result of everyday drinking that lasts for years.


Legendary flash mob.

A person under the nickname beri_llii angered Pavel Igorevich Pyatnitsky. Beri_llii’s friends joined in and Pavel Pyatnitsky promised "to twirl all their sense of justice on the dick". All and everyone are asking Pavel Pyatnitsky not to use foul language.

воскресенье, 6 ноября 2011 г.

Letter: Dvorkovich helped Rusal in 2008


With the crisis deepening in Russia, private companies and state corporations are looking for the way to solve their debt problems. Lucky few get the vital support from the state. We have obtained the document that might shed light on how the government help state-favoured companies to receive bailout packages.

"Dear Sirs,"

"The government of the Russian Federation is fully aware of the meeting of the coordination committee of the United Company Rusal and its international bank creditors over the debt of Rusal. <…> We are aware of the troubles the company currently has and of the proposal to sign a standstill agreement with the bank creditors, under which the company will suspend refinancing the debt until it works out a new debt restructuring plan aimed at long-term liabilities. We are going to provide all necessary support to the plan. <…>"

"I receive full information about the progress of the negotiations. <…>"

"Hereby I confirm the intention [of the government] to provide the company with additional state support in the form of restructuring the banks’ state debt, postponing the tax payments, guaranteeing the bonds of the UC Rusal or in any other similar form". 

All creditors of the UC Rusal received this letter, signed by presidential adviser Arkady Dvorkovich, in the late autumn 2008. Rusal, as of 2009 the second largest producer of aluminium in the worl, is now a private company. In 2008 the state did not own a single share in it. Key shareholder of the company is Oleg Deripaska's En+ holding. After listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Deripaska decreased his stake to 48%. Mikhail Prokhorov's ONEXIM holds 17% of the company (19% before the IPO) with Viktor Vekselberg's SUAL’s holding 16% (18% before the IPO).

Why did the company receive the state support? The reason is stated in the letter. According to Dvorkovich, the company is on the list of 295 companies, which “are integral part” of Russian economy. The government, he says, regularly watch the activities of the company and is always ready to help.

Mr Dvorkovich was unavailable for comments. Asked about the letter, he hung up the phone.

Unfortunately he is the only person in this country who knows the answer to the question whether the rest of 294 companies could expect the state support and how one could apply for it.

Dvorkovich's letter was very effective. The aluminium giant managed to sign the $16.8 billion debt restructuring agreement with foreign and Russian banks, so far one of the largest debt restructuring agreements in recent history of Russia.

Novaya Gazeta

'Lord of War' wanted to make a profit out of civil war in Colombia


A jury in the US Federal District Court in New York heard Monday closing arguments in the trial of suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, as the debates over the ‘lord of war’ is drawing to a close. The prosecution claims that Bout conspired to sell a vast arsenal of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The defense says that Bout was aware of a sting operation against him by the US Drug Enforcement Agency and played along to trick two informers into buying two old cargo planes, kept in Congo, for $5 million.

In his closing argument, the prosecutor told members of the jury that the evidence against Bout was “overwhelming”. Bout believed, the prosecutor said, he was talking to a FARC representative.

“They asked him about 100 Igla surface-to-air missiles, he offered them 800. They asked him of 5 thousand AK-47 assault rifle, he said he would be able to supply them with 20-30 thousand rifles, and to provide it with a night sight and riffle-attached grenade launchers,” the prosecutor said. He highlightened the recorded conversation in a Thai hotel, saying Bout’s goal was to sell ammunition, 800 missiles, landmines, unmanned aircrafts, frag grenades and 5 tons of C-4 explosives, among other military equipment”.

The record of his telephone conversations, the prosecution presented the jury with, proved that Bout was ready to secure the delivery of weapons and obtain legal paperwork “in a European country”, the prosecutor said. Bout also mentioned he could help the potential partners with laundering money from drug trafficking. “He did everything he could to convince them he would be a one-stop shop for FARC,” the prosecutor said.

In his closing argument the lawyer said that the charges leveled at Bout were supported by nothing. “Words are like wind. What has he done? Has he received a cent for the weapons? Has he made any agreements?”

“He offered them unmanned aircrafts and antiaicraft misiles. But what else could he do? The customers ask you: can you offer anything else? It would have been silly if he had said nothing”.

I knew Berezovsky was running a Ponzi scheme… the court hears about plundering Russia in the 1990s


Yesterday was a big day for Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich who testified before a judge and lawyers in London, saying that, despite official claims, he has no higher education, and ‘backdated the documents’. He also told the court that wages of $200,000 a year for his friend was nothing.

Berezovsky is suing his former associate for $5.5 billion. The fugitive oligarch claims Abramovich threatened him into selling his share in Sibneft and Russian Aluminum at a knockdown price in 2001-2004. Abramovich denies allegations, claiming Berezovsky had never owned the assets in question and that he had been paying Berezovsky for his services as a political godfather.

Abramovich’s appearance in a witness’s box drew a wide media response in the UK.

The lawyer of Berezovsky emphasized the discrepancies in the official biography of Roman Abramovich.

At the beginning he asked whether Abramovich had graduated from Moscow Road Construction and Automobile Institute in 1987.

“That is a mistake. I left without a degree. I have not prepared by graduate paper, but I have attended courses,” he said somewhat angry.

It emerged that at the end of the 1980s he was a senior welder in a Moscow-based building enterprise. He also studied in a Moscow State Law Academy for a year.

Referring to Evgeny Shvidler, president of Abramovich’s Millhouse Capital that operates the oligarch’s assets since 2001, he said that they had met each other when Abramovich had headed a rubber toy production firm called Uyut. Asked how much Shvidler had been paid as a president of Sibneft from 1998 to 2005, Abramovich said he did not remember but certainly less than $200,000 a year. He added that Shvindler had become a millionaire later, and while the president of Sibneft he had “not had property”.

Abramovich described Aleksandr Voloshin, an influential Kremlin official at the time of Boris Yeltsin, as his friend and member of his team.

The lawyer of Berezovsky continued to ask about Roman Abramovich’s detention on suspicion of “procuring financial gain by means of fraud”. Abramovich said that he had never forged documents, but from time to time would backdate the necessary documents, which, he said, had been a normal practice.

In the end the lawyer asked Abramovich whom the idea of establishing Sibneft had belonged.

“I have come up with that idea, and approached Petr Aven with it. He advised me to discuss the idea with Berezovsky,” the court heard. Abramovich said that he had not been aware of the fact that Berezovsky was a scientist and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He knew Berezovsky was running car manufacturer LogoVAZ and a Ponzi scheme called Avva.