Saturday, November 25, 2006

Poisoned Spy Affair : a note from Haaretz

David Seaton's News Links
It now turns out now that this affair is not just about "dissidence" or "criticism" or democracy, its about Yukos and about money with a capital 'M'. And the trail leads to Tel-Aviv where Russians have been known to launder money... now and again. DS
Abstract:Russian-born businessman Leonid Nevzlin, former CEO of the Yukos oil company and current chairman of the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv, said Friday that he had met in Israel with former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died Thursday in London from poisoning. During the meeting, Litvinenko allegedly passed Nevzlin documents containing classified information possibly damaging to the current leadership in Russia. In Nevzlin's estimation, Litvinenko's murder was tied to the information relating to Yukos contained in the documents. Nevzlin has turned the documents over to the London Metropolitan Police, who are investigating the murder.(...) A few months before his murder, Litvinenko arrived in Israel in order to pass the documents to Nevzelin. The Government of Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Nevzlin, arguing that he is wanted for tax evasion, budget irregularities, and for connection to the murder of the mayor a Siberian town where Yukos was operating.(...) Nevzlin and his business partner Michael Khodrokovsky, who is incarcerated in a Russian prison, were formerly large shareholders in Yukos, once one of the largest holding companies in Russia, as well as one of the largest oil companies in the world. After the struggle of the company's owners against Putin's administration, and their support of opposition parties hostile to the Russian president, the government opened a series of investigations against the company, eventually resulting in the company's bankruptcy, and the imprisonment of Khodrokovsky and Platon Levedev, an additional business partner in Yukos. READ IT ALL

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