Yury Chaika, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, seen at a meeting of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.Vladimir Astapkovich/RIA Novosti
Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has no doubt that Hermitage Capital Management co-founder William Browder and the security services behind him have ordered the film investigating the activity of his family members released by the Foundation for Fighting Corruption.
"I have absolutely no doubt that this libelous film has been ordered by William Browder and the security services behind him," Chaika said in his response to an inquiry of the newspaper Kommersant published in the Dec. 14 issue.
"After the film was stove-piped in Russia my family members and I came under an unprecedented and insulting attack in newspapers, on television and on the Internet simultaneously in a number of European countries [Germany, Switzerland, Greece and some others]," the prosecutor general said.
"The fact that it was beyond the capacity of twice-convicted Navalny [the founder of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption] to make this expensive and libelous film was obvious from the start [by the way, this is not just my opinion]. Pardon me but it was beyond the capacity of even governments of many countries to launch an international attack of that scope," Chaika wrote.
The primarily objective of "this black PR action is to discredit the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation - the body authorized to maintain international cooperation in the field of criminal justice with the purpose of depriving us of assistance of our colleagues without which we will be unable to detect the extreme points of all financial schemes of Browder spreading into foreign countries and discrediting the very fact of this investigation so that we are not able to show the true face of Browder - an international fraud, swindler and criminal," he said.
Another purpose is "to maximally slow down the active stage of the inquiry by disabling its initiator or, even better, to bury this inquiry at all," he said.
"Finally, there is a global goal of compromising the Russian prosecutor general and his subordinates in regions and once again presenting our country as a partner which should rather not be interacted with and a country that deserved economic and other sanctions," Chaika said.
He also said he was confident "that the film producers would go further."
"Yet I believe in justice. I am confident that our inquiries will be completed and the culprits will be held liable," the Russian prosecutor general said.
In turn, Navalny commented to Kommersant on Chaika's opinion that Browder was behind the investigative film.
"I am very disappointed. Clearly after the death of Berezovsky [businessman Boris Berezovsky who died in London in 2013] the Russian authorities are confused because they cannot accuse him of organizing everything they do not like. But Browder? Why William Browder? We have been expecting the Prosecutor General's Office to distract attention and to invent a mastermind but I am surprised they have chosen him," Navalny said.
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