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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Sunday Sleuth: On the Trail of an Embezzler

The Daily Record reports:

Russian president Vladimir Putin may have secretly amassed a huge fortune. Political insiders say the Kremlin leader could be the richest man in Europe, with hidden wealth totalling £20billion. Allegations of corruption have been strenuously denied by Putin's cronies. But yesterday, a British Government source said: "There are legitimate questions to be asked." And political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky has challenged Putin to take him to court if he denies amassing the fortune from Russian energy companies. Dmitry Medvedev, the man who will succeed Putin in the Kremlin, admitted last week that corruption was rife. He said: "Corruption in the official structures has a huge scale and the fight against it should become a national programme." The claims will fuel the diplomatic row between Britain and Russia following the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London. In a separate move, the Russian official who shut down the British Council in two Russian cities was accused of hypocrisy for sending his daughter to university in London. British ambassador Sir Tony Brenton said: "It is surprising that the Russian elite are taking these opportunities in London but barring ordinary Russians from using these benefits."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky has challenged Putin to take him to court if he denies amassing the fortune from Russian energy companies

Mr. Belkovsky is ought to know that in modern legal practice, the burden of proving lies with the accusing party. Therefore, it is up to him to offer some evidence of his allegations - otherwise, he is nothing more than a common libeller.