Sunday Times о некоторых событиях из моей жизни в Лондоне

Иногда меня спрашивают о том, что я делаю в свободное от реконструкции домов и написания аналитических материалов время. Ну, вот вчерашняя «The Sunday Times» опубликовала два материала об одном из аспектов моего времяпровождения.

Здесь я публикую второй материал. Первый опубликую позже.

Не со всеми формулировками я согласен. Не все события описаны точно, не все названо так, как должно быть названо, не все акценты расставлены правильно. И Путин здесь притянут (куда сейчас без Путина деваться бедным британским СМИ?!). И роль ФСБ немного надута. И ситуация со статусом моей жены не совсем выверена юридически. Но я оставляю за Томом Харпером право на интерпретацию событий. Главное: основные события и основная линия этих событий передана правильно.

Те, кто хочет и может (по соображениям необходимости подписки) прочитать материалы на сайте газеты, может посмотреть здесь

А свои нюансы я расставлю сам, в своих материалах, когда придет время. И дам свою точку зрения.

Вот текст, а ниже сама публикация:

A Russian who exposed corruption in the Sochi Winter Olympics was subject of an attempted sting by Kremlin agents after he defected to Britain, writes Tom Harper

WHEN Valery Morozov ambled into the Audley, a Victorian pub in the heart of Mayfair, London, to meet an old contact from the Russian government, he was expecting a routine chat about business.

The pub is only 200 yards from the American embassy and had been visited by the US first lady, Michelle Obama, and her daughters, Sasha and Malia, in 2009 to experience what the Audley describes as the «best fish and chips in W1».

But Morozov’s visit three years later became altogether less pleasurable, when his long-term friend leant across the table and whispered that he might be the subject of «activities» by Russian intelligence agencies.

While Morozov was alarmed, he was not surprised. A few months earlier, he and his wife Irina had sought political asylum in Britain after he went public with claims that a £4m bribes scandal involving a senior Russian government official and a hotel near Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, had been covered up.

The couple enjoyed setting up their new home in Woking, Surrey, but it was not long before the International Anti-Corruption Committee (IACC), a body set up by Morozov, an entrepreneur, to expose state criminals in Russia, was attracting attention.

Despite his wariness, Morozov agreed to a request to meet a man who claimed to have made a fortune from selling quarries in Karelia, a province in the north of Russia. The man offered to donate to the IACC and later introduced Morozov to a Russian who said he was keen to invest in the UK property market via a trust in Guernsey.

In order to move £30m from Russia and into multimillionpound properties in London and Guildford, Surrey, the two men tried to persuade Morozov to set up offshore trusts in his name but under their control.

«They thought they would control the trusts and the money would disappear, and I would be blamed,» he said.

«They had been given the task to embroil me in a scandal, through the creation of commercial structures associated with me which would be used to launder criminal money. My lawyer was looking at me with big eyes and saying, ‘You have to stop this’.»

Morozov says he suspected that the men were agents from the FSB (the successor to the KGB) and pretended to continue negotiations to get definitive proof. «I could not break off relations with them because then it would be obvious to them that the operation against me had failed, and they would try something new,» he said.

Morozov began recording his conversations and filing away emails. Matters came to a head when, during a Skype conversation with the men, it was suggested the deal might be helped if Morozov bribed a bank official.

«Unfortunately, at that point I gave up and snapped at them,» he said. «I said, ‘If you want to be hung by the balls, do whatever you want, but do not try to hang me. Otherwise, I will hang you by the balls myself!'» To his amazement, Morozov says he heard another, unidentified, person chuckling at the other end of the line. «At that point, I knew there was someone else who controlled the conversation, and who understood that I was playing my game,» he said.

That game ended when Morozov shared his suspicions with an associate who, unbeknown to him, was in on the FSB plot. The prospective business partners suddenly vanished without trace.

The extraordinary attempt to discredit Morozov, revealed for the first time today, emerged during an immigration tribunal where Irina was seeking political asylum.

In a judgment handed down last March, an immigration judge said the Morozovs had come under «severe politically sanctioned attack» from forces loyal to the Kremlin.

«In 2012, FSB officers tried to draw the witness and his wife into committing criminal acts in the UK,» said Judge Jones. «They attempted to invest through him more than £30m belonging to criminal elements in Russia, as well as FSB companies. The same group of people tried to donate €1.5m [£1.1m] to support the work of the International Anti-Corruption Committee. The money was counterfeit and brought for the purpose from Russia to the UK.»

Despite the collapse of the first plot, the FSB tried again.

«In the summer of 2013, [Morozov] was invited to meet with a Nigerian government minister who expressed an interest in joining the board of directors [of the IACC],» the judge said.

«Despite the fact that a very small number of people knew of his intention to travel to Nigeria, he received word from his Russian contacts that the FSB were planning to detain him at Abuja airport in order to deliver him to Moscow. Since then he has cancelled all trips abroad. He and his wife are currently living under surveillance and the protection of the Surrey police.»

The judge allowed Irina’s appeal against deportation under both immigration rules and human rights grounds, adding that the «facts of this case» were not disputed and he had found Morozov and his wife to be «wholly credible witnesses».

However, the Morozovs have now been told by the Home Office that Irina won her appeal only on human rights grounds which, it says, does not give her political asylum. She has been warned that she may have to return to Russia to reapply in about two years.

As lawyers for the couple consider a judicial review, Morozov said: «This is ridiculous. Irina has been threatened by Kremlin officials and this was recognised by the judge in the immigration tribunal. The Home Office is ignoring the decision of the judge and we cannot understand why.»

Tom Harper

Home Affairs Correspondent

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