Standart News

Enquiry THURSDAY, 13 March 2008

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USD 84.000 paid in cash for wiretapping Chernoy

A plot for expulsion and smearing the businessman transpires from scandalous letters


Five billion US dollars is quite a bundle of money. Even for a Russian oligarch like Oleg Deripaska. To save it the Kremlin's pet boy is ready to do anything. Even to finance the most powerful smearing PR campaign in Europe. The target is Michael Chernoy who must be discredited along with Vice President of Israel and Minister of Strategic Planning Avigdor Lieberman. The coordinator of the operation is a former colonel of the Russian Military Intelligence permanently residing in Israel. Deripaska obviously is interested in hitting Chernoy and expel him from Israel to steer clear of the lawsuit Chernoy launched against him in London. The suit is for the Deripaska's share in Russia's aluminum giant RusAl, which he refuses to pay off. Currently, a 20-percent share in RusAl is estimated at five billion USD. The international journalistic enquiry launched by The Standart shows that the former business partner of Chernoy was sure that the cause justifies any means - he employed everything, ranging from generous bribes for politicians and businessmen to wiretapping his rivals. While Chernoy has been his business target to be discredited, Lieberman is a political target of the operation carried out by the special services controlled by Deripaska. In the course of the investigation, The Standart availed of a whole stack of materials proving that a game against Michael Chernoy involving Israeli politicians, businessmen and journalists is really dirty. The campaign had to be finished as early as October-November 2007 and result in Chernoy's expulsion from Israel. Instead, those who hatched the plot were arrested and charges were pressed against them for illegal wiretapping. The plotters a powerful corruption factors in Israel, which their correspondence evidences.
 Avigdor Eskin (arrested November 5) and Alexey Drobashenko exchanged via e-mail detailed plans for this dirty game. The former served a term in jail for organizing a terror act. He is a far-rightist activist, suspected of being a provocateur who wanted to discredit the right wing. After his release, he settled in Moscow where he had a reputation of a militant chauvinist.
 Drobashenko is a chum of Deripaska, he used to hold different posts in "Sibirski Aluminy" and "Bazov Element." Currently he is a director general of Evraziiska Gruppa." All of the plotters have e-mail addresses in Yandex and brazenly exchange information about who paid whom and how much to defame and swindle Chernoy.
 The figureheads in the campaign launched by Deripaska are some Israeli journalists. One of them is David Edelman, an active participant in all campaigns against Chernoy. He is a member of "Kadima" ruling party ad has direct access to ministers and mass media. In a letter to Eskin, Edelman proposes a defaming scheme against Chernoy and Lieberman. The key message is, "We won't let turn Israel into a criminal state." To this end, a poster featuring vice president Lieberman as poodle of Chernoy (read Russian Mafia) had to be released in May-June. Apart from that websites with similar contents in Russian and Hebrew.
 Besides, in the next two months a public debate was planned. The top agenda are such issues as "Why do they need Israel? What are they going to get for their black (play on words: Chernoy means "black" in Russian) money?" Publications "proving" the dangerous merger between mafia and Chernoy who allegedly used Israel as a springboard were prepared. So far, by the way, no one has ever produced evidence of Chernoy's connections with the criminal world. The third stage, involving lawyers, human rights activists and public figures, aimed to precipitate Lieberman's resignation and expulsion of Chernoy from Israel.
 Those who hatched this plot did not rely on public support and the press alone. In a letter Eskin sent to Drobashenko, who is living in Moscow, the two discuss how to attack and implicate in the affair the Minister of Interior. Should the plan fail, there was a plan B - The supreme Court of Justice.
 The letter is dated June 21, 2007. It cites the sums paid to every signee, 1000 USD. Months later, in October, the meeting between Meir Shitrit, Interior Minister of Israel, and the Russian-speaking community of Kadima was organized nevertheless. The participants asked just the "right" questions, focusing the attention on Michael Chernoy. The minister gives "rounded" answers: criminal elements have to be expelled from Israel. No names were specified. The plotter come to a conclusion that the Minister took their side.
 To get more information and "nail down" Chernoy the plotters hire two private eyes. Later, these two will also be detained for wiretapping Chernoy and Lieberman illegally. These are Rafi Pridan and Aviv Mor. The first one was a serviceman of SHABAK, Israeli security service and a special army unit in the Lebanese war of 1982. He was also a police officer in a surveillance department in charge of information collection. As of 1988 he is a private detective. He was arrested once, in 1994 for illegal wiretapping. Later he made it a trade in different countries across the world. Pridan avails of the most modern technical equipment, even the Israeli police cannot boast of such modern apparel.
 In a letter to Eskin, Rafi Pridan sets the price for Chernoy's tapping - extra 60.000 USD a month for a minimum term of two months. If the "client" (Eskin) decides to carry it through within 30 days only the sum automatically rises to 84.000 USD. The CDs with the tapped conversations would be sent to Moscow every month, Pridan pledged. At that time he didn't know yet that this would most probably cost him freedom.
 
 Team of The Standart
 
  
 *Read tomorrow how much pens for hire cost and how they are recruited
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
          





Michael Chernoy





Aleksey Drobashenko





Avygdor Eskin
 


 


 


 

Avygdor Liberman

 
 
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