Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin

Об журналистику

В блоге robertamsterdamРоберта Амстердама прочитал о злоключениях Билла Браудера. Амстердам дает разные ссылки - в частности, на Дэйли Телеграф и Таймс. В обеих газетах рассказывается - со слов Браудера, естественно - история о том, как московские налоговые полицейские подстроили обыск его офисов с целью похищения печатей и документов для последующего подлога и украдывания активов на многие миллионы долларов через суд в Ленинграде. Рассказы, однако, отличаются друг от друга одной незначительной деталью.

В Таймс пишут так:
Documents and company seals that were seized by Artem Kuznetsov, a lieutenant-colonel in the Russian Interior Ministry, during a tax investigation were later allegedly used to engineer a complex fraud intended to extort $367 million (£184 million) from three subsidiaries of Hermitage Fund.
The Interior Ministry’s justification for the raid on Hermitage and its lawyers was a claim that a Hermitage client, Kameya, owed $44 million in taxes, although the client had paid $135 million in taxes in 2006, more than many leading companies, including Baltika and Aeroflot. The Russian Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Service confirmed that no tax was owed, Hermitage said. While the Kameya investigation continued, and unbeknown to Hermitage, nine lawsuits were begun in St Petersburg against Hermitage Fund subsidiaries based on claims by Logos Plus, an unknown company. The claims were accepted by lawyers claiming to act for the Hermitage companies and the court awarded Logos Plus $376 million.

According to Hermitage, the name of HSBC as trustee for the Hermitage companies was wiped off the share register and new directors were installed — three individuals who, Hermitage says, have criminal records. “The only way to change ownership is to obtain the corporate seal, two original certificates of registration and original charter,” the Hermitage spokesman said. These documents remain in the possession of the Interior Ministry. “We want them back,” he said.

А в Дейли Телеграф пишут так:
On June 4, the officer and 25 subordinates raided Hermitage's offices in Moscow - seizing one server, seven computers and five boxes of documents. The grounds for the raid were an alleged $44m underpayment in dividend withholding tax by one of Hermitage's clients - a Russian company named Kameya.

The same day police raided the Moscow office of Hermitage's legal adviser, Firestone Duncan, seizing servers, computers and two van-loads of documents. One lawyer who protested was beaten so viciously he was hospitalised.

Hermitage claims there was no basis for the raids. It has since checked with the Russian Ministry of Finance, the Federal Tax Service and the Tax Authority Number 7 that the tax payments were correct. All three confirmed there had been no irregularities.

In effect, Hermitage claims, the Interior Ministry - equivalent to the Metropolitan Police - had no authority to make the charge.

Mr Browder's people believe the Kameya charge, which remains outstanding, was just a smokescreen for the police officer and his associates to access Hermitage's private papers. The reason soon became clear.

In October, Hermitage learned to its immense surprise that it had lost six cases filed against its three Russian investment holding companies - Rilend, Parfenion and Makhaon. Three months earlier and without Hermitage's knowledge, lawyers representing the holding companies had pleaded guilty in a St Petersburg arbitration court of failing to pay contractual fees to a company called Logos Plus. The judge ruled that $376m was owed.

The only way Hermitage could have been represented in court unawares was if someone had changed the ownership of the holding companies. On investigation, Hermitage discovered that HSBC - Hermitage's trustee in Russia - had surreptitiously been replaced by a company called Pluton.

Hermitage believes criminal elements used the company's corporate seal, original charter, and original certificates of registration - all of which were taken from the offices of Firestone Duncan - to change the ownership. The St Petersburg cases brought by Logos Plus have since been overturned on evidence of the fraudulent ownership.

Я, конечно, не журналист и не эксперт, никаких мнений о том, так ли это все было или нет, у меня нет, но вот если последняя, выделенная жирным шрифтом, фраза в сообщении Дейли Телеграф, соответствует действительности, то не написать об этом было со стороны Таймс, как мне кажется, серьезной ошибкой.

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