Standart News

Scandal THURSDAY, 13 March 2008

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Deripaska Intrigues Against Chernoy in England

English MPs have been contacted to forbid Chernoy's Entry in London

Five billion US dollars is a big sum, even for the Kremlin's favourite, Oleg Deripaska, and the Russian oligarch is ready to do everything possible to avoid paying it, even to finance a wide-scope black PR campaigns in Europe against his former partner, Israeli Businessman Michael Chernoy. Deripaska wants to discredit Chernoy and Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Deputy PM and Strategic Affairs Minister. The campaign is aimed at expelling Chernoy from Israel and, most of all, at forbidding his entry to England. Deripaska is directly interested in achieving these goals, because of a lawsuit against him that Chernoy had initiated. The case concerns Chernoy's share in the RusAl company, which Deripaska usurped. Currently, the twenty-percent share of the company costs over five billion US dollars.
The international journalistic investigation of The Standart shows that Deripaska has used all possible means to smear the image of his former business partner - from generously bribing politicians, through "buying" journalists, to illegally wiretapping phone lines.
In the course of the investigation The Standart obtained enough information proving Deripaska is playing dirty. The campaign was planned to end in November 2007 at the latest with Chernoy's extradition from Israel. Instead, the conspirers were exposed, arrested and charged with illegal wiretapping.
The most important thing to Oleg Deripaska is to smear Chernoy in England, because the RusAl case is heard there.
In May 2007, English lawyer Holder devises a plan for discrediting the businessman and sends it to his partner Sam Berkovitz, who, in his turn, is to send it to their superiors for approval. The masterminds of the campaign are all close associates of Oleg Deripaska - Alexey Drobashenko and Avigdor Eskin. The
first is a close friend of Deripaska. He worked in Sibirksi Aluminiy and Bazovy Element and is currently Director-General of the so-called Eurasian Group. The second associate is a far-right radical, who served a prison term in Israel for planning a terrorist attack.
The plan consists of nine points, the tenth one concerns the payment - 10 000 GBP a month in the first six months, plus all expenditures made in the course of the campaign. It is planned to start it off in June, while in the first three months rumours and insinuations are to be spread in England. It is envisaged to create the impression that Michael Chernoy wants to buy a professional football team in Great Britain. As is known, Britons are especially touchy about football issues. A rumour is circulated that the businessman eyes "Leeds United". According to the strategy, this will provoke a public discussion that will result in marring the reputation of Chernoy and a public outcry against him. All relevant information is to be posted in the Internet and published in the press. There is also a plan B for the choice of the team in case someone else buys "Leeds Utd." in the meanwhile.
In the first three months, while the public debates are underway, the plotters decide to draw in some British experts with the aim to discredit Chernoy. They believe that the tabloids can be "persuaded" (if not with money then with a lot of money) to publish materials about foreign nationals with dubious reputation and the name of Chernoy to be mentioned among them. For the purpose they chose August when news is scarce and any piquant information sells like hot cakes.
English politicians, who have to be drawn into the black PR campaign, take a special place in Holder's plan. It envisages recruiting Colin Burgan, an MP from Leeds who is a devoted fan of "Leeds Utd." Besides, the plotters approach a businessman from the same city who agrees to lend a shoulder in the campaign. The stake is made on raising the issue in Parliament. The plotters think that autumn is the best time for it. Without delay the plan is sent out to the key figures in the plot - Avigdor Eskin and Alexey Drobashenko. However, their scheme about the choice of a football team flops, as another man buys Leeds Utd. In the meanwhile, a private eye from Israel Rafi Pridan also "makes some digging" in Great Britain.
He tells Eskin in a letter he has found an English journalist who has been prying into Deripaska's affairs and that he'll provide him with details later. Pridan is famous for having implemented projects for all sorts of people from all over the world. In August Sam Berkovitz writes to the detective to explain how things stand in juridical terms. First he offers to establish a contact with a high-standing American diplomat, who would find out whether Deripaska has been re-granted an US entry visa. The lawyer makes Deripaska's case a bit clearer to Rafi Pridan, explaining him that in Great Britain, whenever a plaintiff takes a non-British citizen to court, the defendant has the right to plead for bail. Thus Chernoy will have to deposit a considerable amount of money, which would cover Deripaska's legal costs provided the latter wins the lawsuit. Also, a plan is devised as to how to make Chernoy agree to an out-of-court settlement. Deripaska could pay several millions in court. Should Chernoy win, if he is compensated with an amount lesser than the paid he will have to cover all trial-related costs. This will force his lawyers take the out-of-court agreement. Moreover, it is also planned to take Chernoy to court in Russia or another country, where the legal proceedings are reciprocal to the British.
The accomplices also speculate the businessman might decide not to defend himself in this case, which automatically means that the court will proceed directly to the verdict. If in a Britain-held trial an out-of-court settlement is reached or if Chernoy wins it and a certain sum has to be paid, the legal costs that would have to be paid in line with the trial held in Russia, may be used as a counterweight to such responsibility.
In a letter dated September 2007 Eskin assures Drobashenko he has got connections with the office of former British PM Tony Blair. The person the accomplices maintain they have established contact with is lawyer Paul Smith.
He has to talk to people from the Border and Immigration Agency and MPs and to suggest how to ban the access of Michael Chernoy to the UK. Eskin reports that an expert and Internet fan offers that a site in English is built to post positive information about Deripaska and negative - for Chernoy. A site that would be useful for the journalists writing on the matter. In the same month, lawyer Berkovitz sends good news to Eskin. On September 25 he says he has talked to Paul Smith who assures him in October he will talk to two MPs - Humphrey Malins and Andrew Mackinlay. Eskin believs that British MPs have to be mobilized. And Berkovitz acts along these lines. According to the information from the e-letters, he talks to them in October and is assured that the issue of Michael Chernoy will be officially raised in the UK's Home Office. "The two MPs are interested in MC (Michael Chernoy, editor's note) not acquiring English citizenship or permanent residence," Berkovitz writes in a letter to Eskin. In another letter he suggests how to smear the businessman in the English Internet search engines. It is obviously important what the first impression be created in England where they have never heard of Chernoy. "We could enter key words and add sites, use matrices and other technical means to influence the search engines to make sure the first 20 sites always present Chernoy negatively. "Thus, when the campaign starts every time Chernoy is searched up, it will lead to sites that do not show him in a positive light," Berkovtiz writes. The plotters have not given up the smear campaign against Chernoy in the UK.


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