I must go on record in response to recent allegations of ‘criminal acts’ of which I am accused within Russian media. Again citing unnamed sources in the Interior Ministry of Russian Federation the reports purport to suggest that the Investigatory Department, which is apparently leading a preliminary investigation in to my actions while CEO of the Bank of Moscow is supposed to have alleged “virtually all loans were issued to Cyprus offshore companies,” and “instead of $63 million, which were present in the case earlier”, I and my colleagues, “may be (?) charged with the illegal issue of unsecured loans for more than $6 billion” (Kommersant, 29.08.2011).
Russian Federation law clearly states that disclosure of information to the media or other parties from a preliminary investigation is only possible with the consent of the lead investigator. However, unsubstantiated, but serious allegations, which by law should not be disclosed, is constantly circulating in the press without any reaction, retraction or official comment from the investigative team. This is very disconcerting and worrying to me. Indeed it is confusing for us all, as the ‘crimes’ and potential charges alter week after week – but in fact the authorities have still not made any formal allegations: if they had, at least I would have an opportunity on paper to refute them.
It appears again that timing is everything! The new allegations and accusations have come less than a week since I rather pointedly raised the question as to the non-arrival of 103 billion rubles into the Moscow City budget from the apparent purchase from the City of its share ownership in Bank of Moscow by the state-owned monolith, VTB. This ‘transaction’ we will all remember preceded the largest ‘bail out’ in Russian history orchestrated by the management of VTB for a bank it did not own. The ‘rescue package’ requested of the State was almost three times the size of the ‘hole’ which VTB said it had found in the Bank of Moscow’s accounts. Despite this ‘hole’ the rescue imposes no requirement for a shareholder contribution.
Who would seek to damage my reputation to divert public attention from the real abuses, and, possibly, crimes committed in the process of implementing a political decision to change the shareholders of “Bank of Moscow” and establishing state control over it? Who has such power and need? The Mayor of Moscow? The President of VTB or Russia’s Finance Minister who also is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Central Bank?
I consider all slanders, threats and assertions as an on-going attempt to intimidate me and secure my silence. I regret I cannot fulfill their wish as I know that the apparent allegations are wrong and made to harass me.